Simona Halep

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Simona Halep
Simona Halep (ROU) (9633218632).jpg
Halep at the 2013 US Open
Country  Romania
Residence Constanța, Romania
Born (1991-09-27) 27 September 1991 (age 22)
Constanța, Romania
Height 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Prize money $ 2,976,075
Career record 224–121
Career titles 7 WTA, 6 ITF
Highest ranking No. 5 (17 March 2014)
Current ranking No. 5 (21 April 2014)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open QF (2014)
French Open 2R (2011)
Wimbledon 2R (2011, 2013)
US Open 4R (2013)
Career record 41–40
Career titles 0 WTA, 4 ITF
Highest ranking No. 146 (11 June 2012)
Current ranking No. 486 (9 December 2013)
Grand Slam Doubles results
French Open 2R (2012)
US Open 2R (2011)
Last updated on: 9 December 2013.

Simona Halep (Romanian pronunciation: [siˈmona ˈhalep]; born 27 September 1991) is a Romanian professional tennis player and the current Romanian No. 1. She is currently ranked a career high number 5 in the world. Halep first broke into the world's top 50 at the end of 2012, and won her first 6 WTA titles in the same calendar year in 2013 (a feat that was last achieved by Steffi Graf in 1986 when she won her first 7), being named the WTA's Most Improved Player at its end, as well as being named ESPN Center Court's 2013 Most Improved Player.[1]


Halep's father, Stere (a former footballer at Săgeata Stejaru playing in the lower leagues), owns a dairy products factory.[2] She started playing tennis at the age of four, in emulation of her older brother.[3]

"I just thought that she serves well to be her height. She has so much power on her serve.
That's actually really awesome. It's always hard to play with such power on grass court.

Serena Williams, on Simona Halep in 2011 after the 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 fightback at Wimbledon.[4]

She has self-described her playing style as being "an aggressive baseliner,"[3] while New York Times columnist Michael Kimmelman described her as "a scrappy player from Romania, short but with potent ground strokes and a scrambler's talent."[5]


Halep with the Roland Garros Junior Championship trophy in 2008

She started the year playing in junior competitions, reaching the final in Nottinghill, where she lost to Arantxa Rus, then defeated Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the quarterfinals at the Australian Open Junior Championships, before losing in the semifinal to Jessica Moore. She went on to win a pair events in May and June. First, a victory in the finals at Trofeo Bonfiglio, winning over Bojana Jovanovski by a score of 6–4, 6–1.[6] Then, at the Roland Garros Junior Championships, she entered the main draw as the 9th seed. In the first round, she defeated Charlotte Rodier, 6–4, 6–1, then Karen Barbat from Denmark, 6–3, 6–1, and in the 3rd round Halep won against 5th seed Jessica Moore, 6–0, 6–1. In the quarterfinals, Simona beat 13th seed Ksenia Lykina, 6–1, 6–2, and in the semifinals, Halep defeated second seed Arantxa Rus 6–3, 7–5. She closed things by winning the all–Romanian final, 6–4, 6–7, 6–2 against 10th seed Elena Bogdan.[7]

She also started entering senior developmental ITF tournaments in the spring. Success arrived when she won two smaller ITF $10,000 tournaments in Bucharest (1 & 3) in April–May, against Elena Bogdan, 6-1, 6-3[8] and then against Stéphanie Vongsouthi by a score of 7–6, 6–3.[9]

At the main ITF $50,000 tournament in Bucharest (2) in May, Halep eliminated former Roland Garros quarterfinalist Sesil Karatantcheva in the first round, before losing in the quarterfinals to Sorana Cîrstea in three sets, 6–3, 3–6, 1–6. That was followed in June by a victory at the ITF $25,000 tournament in Sweden at Kristienhamn, by defeating the 5th seeded Anne Schaefer, 6-3, 6-2 in the final.[8]

She continued to play on the ITF circuit the entire of 2009, while also entering qualifying for main WTA tournaments at Paris Indoors in February and Roland Garros in May, losing in the 2nd round each time.

In April and May she met the first real successes. First, at the ITF $50,000 tournament in Makarska, Halep began her campaign with wins over Ana Vrljić of Croatia and an upset victory over Ksenia Pervak. She defeated Anne Schäfer, 6–0, 6–0, and beat second seeded Arantxa Rus with a 6–4, 7–6 win to advance to the final. However, Halep fell to the top seed Tatjana Malek by a score of 6–1, 4–6, 6–4.[10] She then reached the quarterfinals at the Bucharest ITF $100,000 tournament, losing to German Andrea Petkovic 6–2, 7–6.[11]

Making her first attempt to qualify for a senior Grand Slam tournament at Roland Garros, she defeated 17th seed Michaëlla Krajicek, 6–4, 7–5 in her first match, but fell to Vitalia Diatchenko, 2–6, 6–1, 6–3 in the following round.[12]

In August, Halep won the ITF $25,000 tournament in Maribor, defeating top seed Katalin Marosi of Hungary in the final 6–4, 6–2.[13] She also made the semifinals of the indoors ITF $50,000 tournament in Minsk, Belarus and ITF $25,000 tournament in Opole, Poland in November.[8]

At almost 18 years old, Halep decided that her large bust was interfering with her game. She underwent mastopexy to reduce her bust size to 34C from 34DD. There was wide criticism of her decision to reduce her bust in order to improve her game. Fans petitioned her to reconsider her decision. She responded, saying, "It's the weight that troubles me. My ability to react quickly, my breasts make me uncomfortable when I play. I don’t like them in my everyday life, either. I would have gone for surgery even if I hadn’t been a sportswoman."[14] She also experienced back pain.[15] She later revealed her reduced bust size at the French Open in May 2010.[14] Since the surgery, she has moved up over 450 places in the world rankings.[15]


Simona Halep at Wimbledon

In January she entered the Australian Open, but lost to Stéphanie Foretz of France 6–4, 4–6, 6–4 in the first round of qualifying.[16] She was ranked 166 in the world as of 5 April 2010.[8] Her breakthrough on the WTA tour occurred during the 2010 Andalucia Tennis Experience on the clay courts of Marbella, Spain. As a qualifier, she advanced to the quarterfinals with wins over world No. 70 Iveta Benešová and world No. 36 Sorana Cîrstea. She then put up a fight against world No.16 Flavia Pennetta, but was finally beaten by the No. 2 seed 6–4, 7–6. Halep then qualified for the 2010 Barcelona Ladies Open by winning 3 matches, but was defeated in the first round of the main draw by Carla Suárez Navarro 6–4, 3–6, 6–3. Halep's impressive form continued into the 2010 Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem in Fes. Seeded first in the qualifying round,[17] she qualified by defeating Nathalie Viérin 4–6, 6–1, 6–3 and Estrella Cabeza Candela 6–1, 6–1. In the first round she defeated No. 8 seed Lucie Hradecká 7–5, 6–1. In the second round she defeated Olga Savchuk 6–3, 6–1 before causing a big upset in the quarter-finals where she defeated No. 2 seed and former top 10 player Patty Schnyder 6–2, 7–6. In the semi-final she defeated Renata Voráčová 7–5, 6–4 to advance to her first WTA Tour Tournament final. But she lost to Voráčová's Czech compatriot Iveta Benešová 4–6, 2–6 in final. In May 2010 Halep qualified for the French Open, defeating Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6–4, 6–7, 6–4 in the final round of qualifying.[18] She was defeated 7–5, 6–1 in the first round by seventh seed Samantha Stosur.[19] In August 2010 Halep faced Jelena Janković at the US Open in the first round. Halep had a chance to win an upset victory over Janković but was broken while serving for the match at 5–4 in the third. In the end, Janković won 6–4, 4–6, 7–5.[20]

In January, she reached the quarterfinals in the 2011 ASB Classic defeating Ayumi Morita and Elena Vesnina, but losing to the second seed, Yanina Wickmayer. She would go then to the 2011 Moorilla Hobart International but she would lose in the third qualifying round, in a decisive set against Magdaléna Rybáriková. At the 2011 Australian Open, Halep qualified for the first time in her career in the third round of a tennis Grand Slam on seniors, beating the 24th seed Alisa Kleybanova 6–4, 7–6 before losing in straight sets to the 12th seed Agnieszka Radwańska and not progressing to the fourth round. In April at the 2010 Grand Prix SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem, she repeated her prior year's accomplishment of reaching the finals but lost to Alberta Brianti 3–6, 4–6.

Halep on clay, at the 2011 BCR Open Romania Ladies

At the 2011 Estoril Open, she was defeated in the first round by the eventual champion Anabel Medina Garrigues 6–7, 6–7. At the 2011 French Open, Halep beat Alla Kudryavtseva 6–2, 6–1, then lost 0–6, 2–6 to 8th seed Samantha Stosur in the second round.[21] In the 2011 Wimbledon Championships, Halep defeated Bojana Jovanovski 6–1, 6–2 before falling to 7th seed Serena Williams 6–3, 2–6, 1–6 in the second round.[22] For the 2011 BCR Open Romania Ladies, Halep was top seeded and progressed to the semi-finals, defeating Maša Zec Peškirič, Lenka Juríková and Alexandra Cadanţu en route. However, she lost to Laura Pous Tió in the semi-finals 0–6, 0–3.

Halep qualified for the main draw at the 2011 Rogers Cup in Toronto but drew 12th-seeded (and 15th-ranked) Svetlana Kuznetsova as her first opponent. After dropping the first set, Halep came back to win 4–6, 6–4, 6–3 in a 2:14 long match that saw Kuznetsova make 50 unforced errors.[23][24] It was Halep's first victory over a top-20 ranked player.[25] She lost to Lucie Šafářová in the second round 2–6, 4–6.[26]

At the 2011 US Open, Halep was placed in the main draw but drew Li Na in the first round. Despite playing with an ankle sprain she had suffered in Toronto earlier in the month,[27][28] Halep defeated the 6th-seeded Li 6–2, 7–5 in a match that saw Li make 54 unforced errors to Halep's 19.[29][30][31] It was Halep's first win over a top-10 ranked player.[32] She lost in the second round to Carla Suárez Navarro 3–6, 6–2, 6–2.[33]

In October at the BGL Luxembourg Open, Halep faced Kimiko Date-Krumm in the first round and defeated the former fourth-ranked world player 6–4, 7–5.[34] She fell in the second round to Anastasija Sevastova 6–2, 6–2[35]

Halep lost in the first round of the 2012 Australian Open after making the quarterfinals at Hobart. She then made it to the 3rd round of the 2012 Indian Wells Masters and the 2012 Miami Masters. Halep then went on to make the quarterfinals in Barcelona and the semifinals at Fes. She was beaten in Madrid and Rome by Venus Williams in the first round of both tournaments.

Halep played at the 2012 Brussels Open in a tune up for the 2012 French Open. She shocked former World No. 1 Jelena Janković in the first round, and rallied against No. 4 seed Dominika Cibulková in the quarterfinals from a set down to advance to the semifinals of the WTA Premier event.

2013: Breakthrough[edit]

Simona Halep at the New Haven Open

Halep began the year as the Romanian no. 2, ranked no. 47 in the world, 20 places behind Sorana Cirstea. Her first two tournaments, Hobart International and Australian Open, ended in defeats. Her first major tournament breakthrough came at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in May, gaining three of the biggest victories of her career. Halep defeated two-time Grand Slam champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, world no. 4 Agnieszka Radwańska,[36] and two-time tournament champion and former world no. 1 Jelena Janković (but saved 2 match points) to reach the semifinals, where she was defeated soundly by eventual champion Serena Williams in straight sets.[37] At the French Open, Halep suffered her second successive first-round exit at a Grand Slam, falling to Carla Suarez Navarro, despite taking the first set comfortably. She rebounded well, however, going on to win her first two WTA titles back-to-back, first at the Nürnberger Versicherungscup in June, where she defeated Andrea Petkovic in the final, and then at the Topshelf Open, where she defeated world no. 11 Roberta Vinci with the loss of just one game in the second round, before defeating Kirsten Flipkens in the final. She became the first Romanian tennis player to win back-to-back tournaments on different surfaces. She claimed her first Grand Slam match win of the year at Wimbledon, defeating Olga Govortsova of Belarus, before falling to Li Na in three sets.

Following the grass-court season, Halep went on to win her third title of the year, at the Budapest Grand Prix, where she defeated Sesil Karatantcheva, Ágnes Bukta, Tímea Babos, and fellow Romanian Alexandra Cadanțu en route to her third final of the year. She defeated Austrian Yvonne Meusburger in three sets to win her third WTA title. She reached her second Premier 5 quarterfinal in Cincinnati, where once again she lost to Serena Williams. She won her fourth WTA title, and first in a Premier level tournament, at the New Haven Open, defeating Petra Kvitova in the final in straight sets. At the US Open, Halep reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time in her career, where she ultimately lost to Italian Flavia Pennetta in two sets. She then went on to win her fifth title of the year, and her second at a Premier event, beating Samantha Stosur in the final of the Kremlin Cup. As a result of her highly successful summer, Halep became the only player of the year to win titles on clay, grass, hard, and indoor courts, as well as the second most successful player behind Serena Williams in terms of number of titles won. In November, Halep defeated former world no. 1 Ana Ivanovic to reach the final of the WTA Tournament of Champions, her ninth career final and sixth of the year. Simona defeated Samantha Stosur in three sets for her sixth WTA title of the season. She finished her breakthrough year ranked no. 11 in the world.

On 21 November 2013, she won the award WTA's Most Improved Player Of The Year for 2013.[38] In December 2013, she was also named ESPN Center Court's 2013 Most Improved Player.[1]

2014: Entering the top 5[edit]

Halep posing with the trophy for winning the Qatar Open

Halep began the year at the Sydney International, where she was the number 7 seed in a draw that contained 6 of the WTA's top 10, however was knocked out in her opening match against up and coming American Madison Keys, her first loss since September.[39] She then headed to Melbourne for the Australian Open, where she was the number 11 seed. In her opening match she faced qualifier Katarzyna Piter, defeating the Pole in 54 minutes, dropping just one game throughout the whole match. She next faced the American Varvara Lepchenko where she dropped the first set, but easily won the next two sets. In the third round, she defeated the qualifier Zarina Diyas in two sets, setting up a fourth round meeting with Jelena Jankovic. Halep defeated the former number one in the world in three sets, with a bagel in the third one and qualified for the first time in her career in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam.[40] Halep then lost the match against Dominika Cibulkova, failing to reach a semifinal at Melbourne. With the points gained at the Australian Open, she moved to number 10 in the WTA Rankings, being only the fourth Romanian player in the Top 10, after Mariana Simionescu, Virginia Ruzici and Irina Spîrlea.[41] On 16 February 2014, Halep competed in the final of the Qatar Open, defeating Angelique Kerber in straight sets to win her first ever Premier 5 tournament. Halep described it as "one of the best moments of my life". As a result of defeating Casey Dellacqua at the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals, she rose to number 5 in the world, becoming the highest-ranked Romanian in the history of the WTA.


From January 2014, Simona Halep is coached by Wim Fissette, former coach of Kim Clijsters and Sabine Lisicki.[42] She is managed by Virginia Ruzici,[8] Her current fitness coach is Teo Cercel.

In the past, Halep was coached by Adrian Marcu,[43] Andrei Mlendea and Firicel Tomai.

Playing style[edit]

Simona Halep is an aggressive counterpuncher. Her very fit body and atheticism provide her with very good all-court movement and tends to make few errors; she also uses this agility to reach the ball earlier because of her wide back swings. At the same time she likes to control the rally and can hit very effective cross-court and down-the-line flat shots, generally producing winners. Her main weakness is her patience, however Halep was praised for her mental strength.

Career statistics[edit]

Grand Slam singles performance timeline[edit]

Tournament 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 SR W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A Q1 3R 1R 1R QF 0 / 4 6–4
French Open Q2 1R 2R 1R 1R 0 / 4 1–4
Wimbledon A Q1 2R 1R 2R 0 / 3 2–3
US Open A 1R 2R 2R 4R 0 / 4 5–4
Win–Loss 0–0 0–2 5–4 1–4 4–4 4–1 0 / 15 14–15

Doubles performance timeline[edit]

Tournament 2011 2012 2013 2014 W–L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open 1R 1R 1R 1R 0–4
French Open 1R 2R 1R 1–3
Wimbledon 1R 1R 1R 0–3
US Open 2R 1R 1R 1–3
Win–Loss 1–4 1–4 0–4 0–1 2–13

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Center Court: Women's 2013 Awards". ESPN. 18 December 2013. 
  2. ^ "Părinţii Simonei Halep se împrumută la bănci pentru ca ea să facă performanţă" (in Romanian). Adevărul. 8 March 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Getting to Know... Simona Halep". Sony Ericsson WTA Tour. 2 May 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Serena Williams Interview". ASAP Sports. June 23, 2011. 
  5. ^ Michael Kimmelman (31 August 2010). "Jankovic Over Halep: A Cacophony of Errors". Retrieved 2 September 2010. 
  6. ^ "Trofeo Bonfiglio – Girls 18 GA – 2008 Tennis Results Scoreboard". Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  7. ^ "Simona Halep biography". Sportpedia. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "WTA Players". Retrieved 18 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "$10,000 Bucharest – USD10,000–2008 Tennis Results Scoreboard". Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  10. ^ "$50,000 Makarska – USD 50,000–2009 Tennis Results Scoreboard". Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  11. ^ "Bucharest 2009: Singles Main Draw". Retrieved 30 September 2010. [dead link]
  12. ^ "French Open / Roland Garros [Q] – Grand Slam (Women's) – 2009 Tennis Results Scoreboard". Retrieved 30 September 2010. 
  13. ^ Breazu, Sorin (6 September 2009). "Încă un eşec pentru Sorana >". (in Romanian). Retrieved 19 September 2011. 
  14. ^ a b "Teen tennis star has breast reduction surgery in bid to boost her game". Daily Mail (London). 26 May 2010. 
  15. ^ a b Jones, Liz. "As a tennis star admits reducing her bust to improve her game... Breast reduction boosted my career but didn't bring me happiness". Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  16. ^ "Halep, eliminata in primul tur al calificarilor de la Australian Open" (in Romanian). 14 January 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  17. ^ "Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, Seed No.1 in qualification event of Fes tournament". 26 April 2010. Retrieved 5 May 2010. 
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ Waldstein, David; Zinser, Lynn (31 August 2010). "Jelena Janković Escapes With Victory Over Simona Halep -". Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  21. ^ "Roland-Garros 2011 – Simona Halep Matches". Fédération Française de Tennis. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  22. ^ "Simona Halep Matches & Statistics". All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  23. ^ Mayers, Christopher (2011). "Simona Halep troubles Svetlana Kuznetsova in the main draw". Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  24. ^ "Qualifier Voskoboeva ousts Bartoli in Toronto". 9 August 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  25. ^ "Rogers Cup WTA Toronto: Marion Bartoli, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, And Jelena Jankovic Upset In First Round". 9 August 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2011. "This was Halep's first career victory over a top 20 player." 
  26. ^ Mayers, Christopher (2011). "Lucie Safarova defeats Simona Halep in the 2nd round". Retrieved 21 August 2011. 
  27. ^ Myles, Stephanie (31 August 2011). "U.S. Open 2011 proves to be riveting theatre". Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  28. ^ Ginsburg, Steve (30 August 2011). "Li Na upset at U.S. Open". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  29. ^ Clarke, Liz (30 August 2011). "U.S. Open 2011: Serena Williams wins, but Li Na is knocked out in first round in straight sets". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  30. ^ Rothenberg, Ben (30 August 2011). "Another Upset: Li Loses to Halep in Straight Sets". Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  31. ^ Maciel, Clair (30 August 2011). "Halep stuns French Open champ Li &#124". Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  32. ^ Bernstein, Viv (30 August 2011). "U.S. Open – Slam champs slammed in first round". Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  33. ^ Rothenberg, Ben (1 September 2011). "Glory Fades Quickly for First Round Upsets -". Retrieved 1 September 2011. 
  34. ^ "Simona Halep eases past Kimiko Date-Krumm into 2nd round – Luxembourg Open 2011 |". 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  35. ^ "Julia Goerges Vs Anastasija Sevastova Luxemburg Open | Live Tennis Guide". 2011. Retrieved 26 October 2011. 
  36. ^ Radwanska upset by qualifier Halep in Rome – Tennis – Eurosport Australia
  37. ^
  38. ^ "Most Improved Player Of The Year: Simona". Women's Tennis Association. 21 November 2013. 
  39. ^ "Keys upsets Halep in Sydney". Retrieved 14 January 2014. 
  40. ^ "Halep's first Grand Slam quarterfinal". Retrieved 20 January 2014. 
  41. ^ "E oficial! Simona Halep a intrat de azi în Top 10 WTA". Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  42. ^ "Wim Fissette: "Simona Halep este una dintre cele mai destepte jucatoare din circuitul WTA"". Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  43. ^ "Halep to make coaching change after career year". Retrieved 18 January 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Italy Sara Errani
WTA Most Improved Player
Succeeded by
Preceded by
ESPN Center Court's Most Improved Player
Succeeded by