MASON, Ohio (AP) Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza added another trophy in her breakthrough summer, beating Simona Halep on Sunday for her first Western & Southern Open title.
Muguruza’s 6-1, 6-0 victory in only 56 minutes extended her streak of playing deep into tournaments and denied Halep a chance to move to No. 1 in the next WTA rankings.
The Spaniard won her first title in the U.S. and her second of the year, along with Wimbledon. In three tournaments since, she has at least reached the quarterfinals.
It was a big disappointment for Halep – the third time this season that she needed one more win to move up to No. 1 and couldn’t get it. She also finished as the runner-up at Cincinnati in 2015, losing to Serena Williams.
Halep brought a lot of momentum into the final. She was feeling good and moving well after being hampered by a knee injury early in the season. The Romanian didn’t lose a set all week until Sunday, when she was never in the match.
Muguruza broke her to go up 2-0 in the first set and was in control. Halep won only 12 points in the set, which lasted 23 minutes. Muguruza broke her again to open the second set and faced only two break points all match.
When it ended, Muguruza congratulated Halep and walked around the court with her smiling face cradled in both hands, taking it all in. Then she put her hands over her heart and reached toward the applauding crowd.
The women’s bracket was missing Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova. Muguruza knocked off defending champion Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinals.