Simona Halep begins her 2022 season winning her 23rd WTA title in Melbourne

Simona Halep has stated that one of the targets of the 2022 season is to get back into the top ten. The Romanian will find herself at her lowest seed at major when the Australian Open kicks off for the first time since 2013 when she was seeded for the very first time at the US Open.

Injury reeked havoc on her 2021 season forcing the Romanian to miss Roland Garros and her title defence at Wimbledon seeing her drop out of the top 10 after an incredible 373 consecutive weeks.

This season poses a new challenger for Halep and maybe one she will thrive under in the early parts of the year as she aims to build that ranking back up.

Simona was second seed in Melbourne this week and on course to play against Naomi Osaka in the final also returning from some time off. The two time Australian Open champion pulled out of her semi-final with Veronika Kudermetova giving the Russian a walkover into the final with Halep looking for her first title since Rome 2020.

It was a steady start from Halep who was trying to find her serve but did have a stumble on break point and a double fault saw the Romanian slip down an early break at 1-2. The break was quickly recovered from Halep playing some progressive tennis and shining with her backhand to break back not one, twice but three times as she sealed the first set 6-2 winning five games in a row.

That was to be the end of her consecutive run of games as Kudermetova once again got an early break in the second set and had three break points to extend her lead to 3-0 but was wasteful on all three occasions with Halep stemming the tide.

With a matter of minutes having held for 1-2 the Romanian then found herself up a break of serve at 3-2 with pressure on Kudermetova to stay close with the Romanian. Veronika did a good job but a forehand error from the Russian all but sealed her fate with Halep up 6-2 5-3 and serving for the match.

An error from Veronika sealed the win for Simona Halep, 6-3 6-2 and her 23rd singles title on the WTA tour, a wonderful moment for her after a tough time with injury!

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