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Halep rallies past Stosur for TOC crown

Sofia, Bulgaria (SportsNetwork.com) - Simona Halep of Romania rallied for a three-set victory over Australia's Samantha Stosur to claim the title at the season-ending WTA Tournament of Champions.

The top-seeded Halep remained unbeaten in title matches this year with a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 triumph, winning for the sixth time in as many finals during the 2013 season. She also beat Stosur in a final for the second time in three weeks, prevailing last month for the Kremlin Cup championship.

Halep won in straight sets in Moscow, but quickly fell behind on Sunday when Stosur broke twice in a 31-minute first set. The tables were turned in the second set with three breaks of serve for Halep, who continued to dominate in the third with two more breaks.

"I really wanted to win this tournament, so I'm just happy!" said Halep in an on-court interview after the match. "I want to thank everyone who came to support me this week, they helped me a lot."

Stosur, seeded fourth this week, did not force a break point in the decisive set and fell to 2-2 in title matches this year. She won in Carlsbad and Osaka before falling to Halep in Moscow.

"Congrats to Simona on playing a great final," said Stosur. "She's a very good player. She got me a couple weeks ago in Moscow, and again it was very hard today, but I'm happy with the week I had."

Halep had never won a tournament entering the 2013 season, losing three finals before her maiden breakthrough in Nuremburg this summer. She followed with a win in Den Bosch the week after, then also won in Budapest, New Haven and Moscow.

The 22-year-old former junior world No. 1 will rise to 11th in the next WTA rankings.

This tournament featured an eight-woman field that was divided into two groups. Round-robin play was staged through Friday.

The field consisted of the six highest-ranked players who won at least one International Series tournament during the year and did not qualify for last week's WTA Championships in Istanbul.

11/03 13:24:57 ET


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