Rising star Simona Halep races to Qatar title

Simona Halep was winning the biggest tournament of her career in Qatar.

Story highlights

  • Simona Halep wins Qatar Open
  • Romanian beats Angelique Kerber in final
  • Tomas Berdych claims Rotterdam title
  • David Ferrer triumphs in Buenos Aires

Simona Halep confirmed her reputation as one of the rising young stars of the WTA Tour by romping to the Qatar Open title Sunday.

Halep was winning her third title, but victory from a draw which included Australian Open champion Li Na, was by far the biggest of her career.

The 22-year-old thrashed sixth seed Angelique Kerber of Germany 6-2 6-3 in just 66 minutes in the final and will rise to ninth in the new world rankings this week.

It followed her defeats of second and fourth seeds Agnieszka Radwanska and Sara Errani on the way to the title match.

Despite her impressive recent form, Halep did not think she would win the tournament at the start of week.

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It's amazing for me, because when I came here I didn't think I could reach the final, certainly not win," she told the official WTA website.

"I had been competing indoors, but mentally I am very strong and I got the feel of the balls and the court here very well. I have to enjoy this now as the best moment of my life."

Halep was on top from the start as she immediately broke Kerber's serve and only at 2-1 down in the second set did she trail before taking control again.

On the ATP Tour, Czech Tomas Berdych claimed his first title for 16 months with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Marin Cilic of Croatia in the final.

Cilic had gone into the title match off the back of nine straight wins, but third seed Berdych swept him aside.

"It feels so amazing, it's been so long, To win the title here is a real bonus. I'm extremely happy with how I handled things throughout the week," he told AFP

The Buenos Aires title went to clay court specialist David Ferrer as he beat Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-3 6-4 in the final.

Ferrer was beaten by Rafael Nadal in the final of last year's French Open and easily accounted for the second seed in Argentina.

Nadal was due to compete but pulled out citing "lack of preparation" as he battles back from the injury which struck him in the final of the Australian Open against Stanislas Wawrinka.