Simona Halep Inches Closer to Serena Williams, Equals Venus Williams Record at Italian Open 2020

September 21, 2020 8:28 pm

Simona Halep won her first Italian Open title after defending champion Karolina Pliskova retired at the beginning of the second set with Halep leading 6-0, 2-1. This is Halep‘s third consecutive title victory and her 14th consecutive victory. And in the process, she has inched closer to some of her rivals.

Simona Halep as she celebrates winning the final with the trophy after  Karolina Pliskova retired from the match after sustaining an injury Clive Brunskill/Pool via REUTERS

Simona Halep inches closer to Serena Williams in multiple records

Halep has now won her first Italian Open title. Interestingly, since her first title in 2013, she has won 22 titles and only Serena Williams has won more in that period. Another record that Halep is nearing is the most number of clay-court titles among active players. Halep has nine clay-court titles and is level with Venus Williams, in second place behind Serena Williams’ 13.

The final was one-sided right from the off as Pliskova looked in trouble early on. Halep bagel’d Pliskova in the first set, with Pliskova hitting 0 winners. Halep was on fire, and it seemed like Pliskova was dealing with a left leg injury.

In the second set, however, Pliskova looked a lot better, but Halep reigned supreme nonetheless. The Romanian broke Pliskova to lead 2-1, and that is when Pliskova decided to retire. This retirement sparks conversation on Pliskova’s chances of participating in the French Open 2020.

Halep seemed to have rectified the mistakes from her semifinal match against Garbine Muguruza, especially on her serve. But against Pliskova, Halep ticked all the boxes couldn’t have had a more perfect and easy-going match.

Adding 899 points to her rankings, Halep is getting closer to Ash Barty in the WTA standings. Barty is World No.1 with 8717 points and Halep is now on 7255 points. If the Romanian wins the French Open she will regain the No.1 ranking.

Halep returned to the circuit with the Prague Open, which was on clay, and opted to skip the US Open 2020. However, her The Italian Open victory has proved that Halep is a huge favorite for the 2020 French Open, where she will be the top seed.

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