Dubai: Simona Halep, who became Dubai’s latest women’s singles champion, gifted herself and her team with a breakfast at the iconic Burj Al Arab a day after picking up her second title here on Saturday.
The two-time grand slam champion Halep took her team, including former Romanian player Artemon Apostu-Efremov — standing in place of coach Darren Cahill this week — for a well-deserved breakfast at the Burj Al Arab.
The official transport returned to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium later in the morning and the team left for Bucharest at 1.30pm from the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel.
With Cahill not making the one-off trip to Dubai from Australia, other members on Team Simo are Apostu-Efremov, Cosmin Diaconeasa (physiotherapist), Katie Spellman (PR Manager), Viriginia Ruzici (Tennis Manager) and Bogdan C Stoica (Sponsorship and Legal Manager).
Halep, who last won the Dubai title in 2015, had promised media at the post-match conference that she would be hosting her team for breakfast at the Burj Al Arab. “I have never been to the Burj and that’s a shame for me,” Halep said late on Saturday.
“I will have breakfast there to celebrate. I’m dreaming of that,” she had added after holding off 20-year-old Kazakh girl Elena Rybakina 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5) in an engrossing final that lasted nearly two and a half hours before a near-packed centre court.
I always had in my mind that I have to be consistent. I didn’t like the way that you win a tournament and then you don’t do anything for a few months. I liked to build my power, to build my consistency every week
Halep acknowledged her consistency on the women’s Tour as she has the 10th longest streak in the top-10, having spent 317 weeks there now. “I always had in my mind that I have to be consistent. I didn’t like the way that you win a tournament and then you don’t do anything for a few months. I liked to build my power, to build my consistency every week,” Halep revealed.
“Since I met Darren [Cahill], I thought that we just have to look at the big picture, not just at that week. So I did that pretty well. That’s why I could stay so long time in the top. I think this makes me more proud than winning titles because if you are able to be there — it means that you have everything like power, mental strength, physical also, very strong. I think it’s a good position and I’m enjoying it,” she added.
Halep’s 20th title on Saturday took her level with Victoria Azarenka in sixth place on the list of active title-winners (behind Serena and Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters, Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova).
The Romanian will continue as world No 2 behind Ashleigh Barty when the new rankings are released on Monday.