MADRID, May 7, 2016
The WTA Premier Mandatory event of the Mutua Madrid Open concluded on Saturday with Simona Halep lifting the Ion Tiriac trophy at the Romanians sixth appearance in the Spanish capital.
Halep, who only dropped one set en-route to the final, defeated Dominika Cibulkova 6-2, 6-4. The sixth-seed from Constanta saved all four break points she faced and converted three of her own to celebrate her 12th tour title.
She joins Victoria Azarenka, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova, Aga Radwanska, Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova to become just the seventh multiple Premier Mandatory singles winner.
“I’m really happy that I won this tournament. Like I said many times, it’s very special, and I have a special feeling right now. The most important thing is that I played good tennis here. My best level actually. It was amazing on court. I just want to keep that feeling for long time,” Halep was overwhelmed.
Halep led a strong Romanian contingent this week and consequently she received the trophy from her compatriot and Olympic gold medalist Nadia Elena Comaneci.
“I feel like home. It’s a special feeling that many Romanians are coming to support me. I see many flags in the crowd. So, yeah, it means a lot. Actually it was a great moment that I got the trophy from Nadia. Perfect 10 means a lot. This week I give to myself 9.5, so not yet 10,” she laughed.
Halep has to defend semi-final points in Rome next.
“It’s tough to go there, to be honest, but I just want to enjoy this moment right now. Like this week. I am not thinking about points. I just want to play. I will have few days off, and then I will think about my first match there. I have still some time because I will play Wednesday,” Halep will enjoy a bye in the opening round, awaiting the winner of the match between Sabine Lisicki and Daria Gavrilova.
Just one hour after the match, Cibulkova was a bit sad but stayed positive.
“I don’t want this loss to get into the great feelings of this week. It was just a great week. Playing the finals here was a great experience. I was playing great the whole week. Now I just want to get some rest and prepare for Roland Garros,” the runner-up told.
Earlier the day, fifth favourites Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic upset the top-seeds Martina Hingis and Sania Mirza 6-4, 6-4 to claim the doubles title after one hour and 28 minutes. It was the third straight title win for the French tandem.
“It’s definitely a great period for us. Three finals, three titles, and two times against No. 1 in the world, Martina and Sania, and once against Bethanie and Lucie. Great matches every single time. Very, very happy with what we produced on the court today,” Garcia told afterwards.
Elsewhere, Lucia Cortez Llorca captured the title of the girls under-16 competition, winning the final on court 3 against Lucia de la Puerte Urib 6-4, 7-6. She won 58% of her first service points, saved two of the seven break points she faced and converted six of her own to secure victory in one hour and 52 minutes.