Simona Halep having a great week in his home country of Romania. She was seeded number one for this tournament despite having a lowly ranking than her opponent the red hot Estonian Anett Kontaveit. Simona justified the lofty seeding by reaching the final here without losing a set and barely breaking a sweat. Anett however was never going to be a push over, she has 3 titles this year and is in her 6th final including most recently as last week the one in Moscow. Never mind that this is a WTA250, the Estonian went for the jugular early. Check out the forehand that did damage in Russia and Czech Republic at 1-0(15-0) first set. Deep, putting entire weight into it, nice. Her first serve was also key in the first set winning 73% of her first serve points and dismantling Halep on her’s, winning 54%. But Halep’s baseline prowess cannot be underestimated. Check out 1-1(40-40). That cross court forehand is her best shot opening up the racquet, jumping into right into the shot, which is key for such a diminutive player as Simona. Didn’t take long for Anett to start pushing Simona around the court.
Watch 4-1 first point , Kontaveit already a break up and cruising. The Simona serve doesn’t have the pace and is well shot , the forehand winner not surprising from Anett. What the Romanian needed to do was to serve to the Anett backhand which requires she dump the kick serve and go flat down the line on the deuce court. She did that at 4-1(30-0) to obvious success but not consistently enough in this match. Great break of serve by Simona though in the seventh game at 5-1 to show she doesn’t easily give up. But the double break was a mountain to steep to climb. Kontaveit 6-2 winner of the first set.
It was business as usual in the second set as far as Anett is concerned. Check out 2-1 Halep 30-15 as Simona cracked on serve again. I could see what she was trying to do , she wanted to go down the line so the angle for which Anett hits the forehand cross court becomes difficult. The serve just wasn’t enough to Anett’s right to have the desired effect. Anett had 11 break point opportunities, another damning stat to the Halep serve, the plus for the Romanian being that she only converted 5. Watch 2-2(15-0), the rally going swimmingly for Halep when she was playing to the Kontaveit backhand when she changed to her forehand immediate pain for her. Now watch the decisive moment of the match, 3-2(40-15) double break point Anett. Halep decides rightly to serve down the line but look at the position she occupies, too far to her right. As such the ball drops angled right at Anett instead of down the line which was desired. Thta was match over from there. Anett cracking the top ten as a result of winning Cluj now eighth and on her way to Mexico for the WTA Championships. Simona will not be too down after having been absent for most of 2021 is now ranked 22.