Hard for Halep to think of top spot while Serena rules

Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:15pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Simon Evans

MIAMI (Reuters) - World number three Simona Halep says it is hard to imagine reaching the top of the world rankings as long as Serena Williams is playing the game but believes she has what it takes to win a grand slam.

The Romanian arrives in Florida for this week's Miami Open off the biggest success in her career with a victory over Jelena Jankovic in the final of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Sunday.

The win was the third of the year for the 23-year-old following victories at Shenzhen and Dubai and while she is firmly entrenched as number three, behind Williams and Maria Sharapova, she says getting to top spot may be a step too far.

“When Serena is number one, its hard to think of being number one," Halep told reporters on Tuesday. "But still I have confidence that I can win more titles and reach a higher ranking."

The Miami Open has almost become the personal property of the Williams sisters, who live in nearby Palm Beach Garden and have won the event 10 times, Serena lifting the title on seven occasions and Venus three.

Still, Halep, who has never ventured past the third round in Miami, doesn’t believe that Williams is unbeatable.

“She (Serena) is very strong, she is a great champion, she has been up there for many years. She knows how to manage every situation," praised Halep. "I admire her a lot and learnt many things from her.

"After the first match at Indian Wells I told my coach that I really wanted to play her in the semifinals but it didn’t happen because of her injury.   Continued...

Simona Halep (ROM) reacts during her match against Jelena Jankovic (SRB) in the finals of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Halep won 2-6, 7-5, 6-4. Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports