Halep to take on Serena at Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

Halep went on to reach the final where Williams was able to avenge her defeat in the last match of the year, but she resumed her winning ways this season by claiming the ninth title of her career in Shenzhen.

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Published: Mon 26 Jan 2015, 10:50 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:49 PM

Dubai — Simona Halep will fear no-one — and that includes formidable opponents such as top seed  Serena Williams, as she bids to add the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships crown to her fast-growing list of titles.

The most successful Romanian woman the game has ever seen stunned the tennis world in October when she overwhelmed the world number one in the round-robin stage of the WTA Finals in Singapore, giving up just two games. “I have no words to explain how I feel and how I felt on court,” said Halep after her victory. “It was an amazing match for me. I played really well. I was aggressive, and continued to just hit the balls and to stay close to the line, because I knew that I don’t have any chance if I stay back. “I knew before the match that I have nothing to lose. After this match I learned many things. I learned that I have to believe in my chance and just go on court to play my game. It means a lot, this match.”

Halep went on to reach the final where Williams was able to avenge her defeat in the last match of the year, but she resumed her winning ways this season by claiming the ninth title of her career in Shenzhen. Such success brings more expectations, and she will arrive in Dubai with everyone eager to see how well one of the most exciting players on the WTA Tour can perform.

“There will be more pressure on me now, but I have to believe that I can do many more results,” she said. “Last year I did some good results but now it’s another year and another start, and I’ve had a good start, winning in Shenzhen and playing better match by match.”

It is certain that Halep will be able to improve on what has been only a modest record so far in Dubai.  In 2012 she qualified before losing to defending champion Caroline Wozniacki in the second round, she defaulted her second round qualifying match in 2013, and last year she had to retire against Alize Cornet in the first round due to an Achilles injury.

“Simona Halep has experienced an astonishing rise in the rankings over the past two years, reaching a peak of number two in the world during 2014,” said Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman of Dubai Duty Free.



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