Simona Halep (ROU) vs.  Garbine Muguruza (ESP)
2:1 was their head-to-head coming into this final favoring Muguruza; however, Halep won their last encounter. Would that benefit Halep? Muguruza has traditionally underperformed after doing well at the Majors, perhaps that should have helped the Romanian. Yet, Halep has struggled with the pressure of potentially being number one. Today was the just a horrendous performance from her. She could not find her game all because of the possibility of becoming the number one ranked player on the WTA Tour.
Muguruza had no such qualms; she came out very clear about her objective. Except for a slight wobble in the second set when she served to gain a 4-0 lead, there was nothing much wrong with her game. Did Muguruza really play that well, or did Halep play poorly? Sometimes a player can win a match because their opponent played exceptionally badly; however, Muguruza won this match by playing consistently quality tennis, which gave her the 6-1, 6-0 victory over her opponent and the Cincy title.
Halep will continue her quest to become number one and she will eventually get there; however, not today. After such a brilliant performance against a dangerous opponent in the semifinals, Sloane Stephens, much was expected from her today. Unfortunately, she continues to struggle with nerves and once she got tangled up in her head, there was no way she could beat the in-form Spaniard.
There is one Major left, the US Open, can Halep shrug off the nerves associated with the mantle of number one and play the quality tennis she is capable of playing? She is knocking at the door, she has made it to two Roland Garros finals and the WTA Finals; thus, she can beat the best. She simply has to forget about number one and play.
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