Sick Simona Halep claims Shenzhen title
World number three Simona Halep refused to let illness beat her as she collected her ninth WTA Tour title by downing Timea Bacsinszky in the Shenzhen Open final on Saturday.
The Romanian showed why she is among the favourites to lift a first grand slam at the Australian Open later this month by dominating her giant-killing opponent in a 6-2 6-2 rout.
Swiss Bacsinszky had beaten double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic in the semis but she couldn't make an impression on an unwell Halep.
"I wasn't feeling very well before the match - I was a little bit sick - so I told myself I have nothing to lose, just go on court, be relaxed, stay focused and fight for every point," Halep explained.
"It worked, and I felt really relaxed today. I'm happy I could play better day by day and match by match here. I'm looking forward to playing like today in the next tournament, maybe even better."
Halep becomes only the second winner of the Shenzhen Open after Li Na claimed the first two editions.
The retired Chinese great followed each victory by going on to make the final at the year's first grand slam but Halep was cautious when asked if she could replicate the feat.
"It's tough to answer that question. You never know what will happen day by day," said the 23-year-old, who reached the final of the French Open and the quarters in Melbourne last year.
"But I don't want to put any pressure on myself for the Australian Open. I have to be focused there, and I hope to win many matches there, but it'll be tough. I'll just try to do everything I did here."