World No.8 Anett Kontaveit beat former World No.1 Simona Halep in the finals of Cluj-Napoca to win the Transylvania Open last Sunday. In the process, the Estonian not only won her fourth title of the year, but also ended up sealing the final spot in the upcoming WTA finals.
Kontaveit completes the list of top-eight players in the world to compete at the marquee event in Guadalajara. Along with the Transylvania Open winner, big names- Aryna Sabalenka, Barbora Krejcikova, Karolina Pliskova, Maria Sakkari, Iga Swiatek, Garbine Muguruza and Paula Badosa too will be headlining the WTA finals.
During the post-match interview, the 25-year-old also extended her respect towards Halep. In response the Romanian star too acknowledged that she was outplayed by a better opponent and also vowed to return to the tournament in 2022.
“Anett, you crushed me. But I had an amazing week,” Halep said. “It was a tough year. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to play so well this week, but playing at home is always better. I’m sad that I couldn’t win, but Anett was too good today. Next year I will be here again.”
Halep who recently got married also shared a message for her husband, Toni Iuruc. “As this is my first speech this year I would also like to thank my husband for the first time,” the two-time Grand Slam champion said. “Thank you for being in my life.”
40th WTA Final for Halep
Despite missing most part of 2021 due to injury, Halep ended up reaching the 40th WTA final of her career. Interestingly, the 2021 Transylvania Open finals was also the 30-year-old’s first final, since making the finals of Rome in 2021. Although she made the semis in Stuttgart, this was her first final of the year.
For the year, Halep only played 35 matches, out of which she won 23 and lost 12. The Romanian is expected to be seen back on the tour, ahead of the 2022 Australian Open.