Halep storms past Kudermetova to claim Melbourne Summer Set 1 title

Former world number one Simona Halep beat Kudermetova 6-2, 6-3 in one hour 14 minutes to claim the title and give herself a massive boost of confidence heading into the Australian Open.

Simona Halep with the winner's trophy after beating Veronika Kudermetova in the Melbourne Summer Set 1 final on Sunday.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Former world number one Simona Halep stormed past Veronika Kudermetova in straight sets at the Melbourne Summer Set 1 final on Sunday to claim the title and give herself a massive boost of confidence heading into the Australian Open.

Halep, who was forced out of last year's French Open, Wimbledon and the Tokyo Olympics by a calf issue, showed no signs of the problem as she beat Kudermetova 6-2, 6-3 in one hour 14 minutes.

Kudermetova began the contest strongly, breaking Halep's serve to take a 2-1 lead in the first set, but the two-times Grand Slam champion responded well, breaking right back in the next game and then twice more to clinch the first set 6-2.

 

The second set unfolded in similar fashion, with Kudermetova taking the lead and Halep rallying to level the set at 2-2. Halep broke a few games later to make it 5-3 and then held to love to win her 23rd career title.

"It's really nice to come back here and play in front of you. Thank you for your support," Halep said to the crowd at the Rod Laver Arena, which cheered the Romanian on from start to finish. "You helped me to win.

"Well done Veronika for this week, I know you did not play your best, but it was a good match, and I wish you the best for the Australian Open, which is maybe more important."

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