Simona Halep had a chance to become the first Romanian to be number one in the WTA rankings at the French Open earlier this year. But Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia had other plans, upsetting Halep to win the French Open.
This time, at the semifinals of the China Open in Beijing, Halep got the better of Ostapenko, winning 6-2, 6-4. With the win, Halep takes over as number one in the world. The 26-year-old is the first Romanian to hold the ranking.
“Of course it’s the best moment in my life, and I want just to keep it,” Halep told reporters in Beijing. “And I have few more dreams in my career. I tell you one, only one. To win a Grand Slam.”
Halep will face Caroline Garcia of France in the final Saturday night, but will still hold the ranking even if she loses.
[More from Excelle Sports: Stephens, Muguruza among those upset at China Open]
Halep unseats Garbine Muguruza of Spain who bowed out of her first-round match due to illness.