Halep breaks winless streak in Madrid

Rublev defeats Garin to reach second round of Hamburg European Open

Simona Halep captured her first WTA title in 14 months with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Domonika Cibulkova in the final of the Mutua Madrid Open.

The Romanian looked in top form all week as she blew past her opponents, and she didn’t let up on Saturday.

Racing through the first set in just half an hour courtesy of two breaks of serve, Halep then claimed another break at the start of the second set to drive home her advantage.

Cibulkova did not go down without a fight, staying solid on serve from that point on and coming close to breaking back during a marathon 16-point fourth game, but she could not find a way past her dogged opponent.

It’s Halep’s first title since she won at Indian Wells last year, and should see her move back into the top five of the world rankings.

“I am really happy to win this trophy, it’s really special for me, it’s a special moment,” she said.

World No 38 Cibulkova, meanwhile, is the lowest ranked player to reach a Premier Mandatory final since 2009.

Her finals run should see her enter the Road To Singapore Leaderboard’s Top 8, and move her ranking up to 26th.