Madrid, May 8 (IANS) Two years after coming up just short at the Madrid Open, Romanian Simona Halep won this elite clay-court title with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Slovak Dominika Cibulkova.
Halep came out aggressively from the outset against the unseeded Cibulkova and wrapped up the first set by climbing out of a 0-40 hole in the final game here on Saturday, reports Efe.
That gave the Romanian No.6 seed a jolt of confidence against a player who had defeated her in three of their four previous meetings, and she maintained the same high level to clinch the match and the title in one hour and 20 minutes.
For the match, Halep won 72 percent of her second-serve points and was not broken in either set.
Halep, who lost 2014 final to Russia’s Maria Sharapova 1-6, 6-2, 6-3, also will return to the top five of the women’s rankings.
The Romanian’s ranking had slipped due to, among other things, Achilles tendon and ankle injuries dating back to last year.
The Madrid Open is a key tune-up event for the second Grand Slam tournament on the tennis calendar French Open, which gets underway on May 22.