Happy Halep lifts trophy in Melbourne, defeats Kudermetova in straight sets

The Romanian looked on fine form as she won her first title in 18 months

Simona Halep Simona Halep of Romania with the winner’s trophy after her singles match against Veronika Kudermetova of Russia during the women’s final of the Summer Set 1 tournament ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)

Simona Halep – who dropped out of the WTA Top 10 last August – has returned to form with a vengeance, brushing aside Veronika Kudermetova 6-2, 6-3 to win the title at the Melbourne Summer Set 1.

The Romanian dropped just one set all week – against sixth seed Viktorija Golubic in the quarter-final – en route to her 23rd career title.

Halep struggled with injury in 2021, suffering with problems in her shoulder, her calf problem as well as an adductor.

But she says she is now feeling fully recovered.

“The body is great,” she said in her press conference afterwards. “I feel good. I had a tough five matches, and my body is good. I don’t feel that tired.

“Physically I’m in the right place. Confidence is growing. I feel confident. I feel that I have the game to win matches. Of course it’s a small tournament, but I played with tough opponents, so it gives me confidence for what is coming.”

It is her first trophy since she won in Rome back in 2020.

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