Sunday, February 22, 2015


Halepmania reigned in Dubai this past week, as crowds of spectators loudly and frequently screamed the Romanian player's name throughout her matches. Halep, the top seed in Dubai, won the title--her tenth--when she defeated a red-hot Karolina Pliskova in the final yesterday. The win didn't come easily for Halep, who had to serve for the match three times, while holding match points in her first two attempts. All credit to Pliskova, who hung in nicely, but it was Halep's own shaky mentality that almost did her in.

Halep's 6-4, 7-6 victory puts her back in the number 3 position in the rankings. Pliskova, meanwhile, served notice to the tour that she's a true threat. Her win over Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals was notable, and the "rising star" match was a good one. But perhaps no match in Dubai could top the quarterfinal that Halep played against Ekaterina Makarova. The match-up itself was entertaining, and both players gave spectators a little bit of everything.

Kristina Babos and Kiki Mladenovic won the doubles title. The team of "Mladenovic and Anybody" is capable of winning--and has won--many titles, but this was the first time that Mladenovic won a title with her (more or less) regular partner. It took the Frenchwoman a long time to settle on a partner, and in Babos, she chose a life-long friend. Babos and Mladenovic defeated Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro in the Dubai final.

Meanwhile, in Rio, Sara Errani got something she really needed--another title. Errani, the top seed, beat Anna Schmiedlova in today's final. Schmiedlova had never before been to a WTA final. Errani had a somewhat thrilling ride to the final: She saved three match points against wild card Beatriz Haddad Maia in the quarterfinals.

Top seeds Irina-Camelia Begu and Maria Irigoyen had to retire during the doubles title, which went to their opponents, Ysaline Bonaventure and Rebecca Peterson.

Halep, who is the defending champion in Doha, has withdrawn from the tournament because of rib and ankle injuries she says were troubling her in Dubai.

Top Doha qualifying seeds Belinda Bencic and Mona Barthel both went out in the first round of qualifying. The main draw top seed is Petra Kvitova.

No comments: