In tennis there is an unspoken rule: the fans always cheer for the underdog! It happens all the time, and it shows no sign of differentiation, no matter how much the favorite is beloved by tennis fans community. It is sort of watching David and Goliath taking place withing white lines and hard surfaces.
You know Goliath should win, but you really want David to gain the edge, somehow. Surprisingly that was all but the case in the final of the WTA tournament of Dubai. The No.1 seed and blatant favorite to win the title, was also clearly the most cheered compared to her opponent, the underdog World No.18.
Of course, the difference is numbers can"t be considered so wide that Karolina Pliskova didn"t stand a chance against Simona Halep, but still, the Romanian was the clear favorite for the final win. It might not just be that Simona looked much more like Goliath compared to her giant opponent, Karolina, a 6" 1"" blonde beauty, Simona a tenacious 5" 6"" woman.
Clearly the tennis community is falling more and more in love with Halep. Last year, her breakthrough season, Simona went as far as reaching the final at the French Open and the semifinals at Wimbledon, closing the year as World No.3.
The tennis fans fell so much in love with the feisty that they voted Simona as player of the year at the annual WTA Player of the Year Award. More than Serena Williams, more than Maria Sharapova, tennis followers wanted to acknowledge Halep.
In Dubai it was a whole stadium cheering "Simona, Simona", shouting, even when the Romanian was already winning. A special moment for Halep, who ended up beating Pliskova in straight sets with the final score of 6-4 7-6(4), coming back from a 0-2 deficit down in the second set.
It wasn"t easy for the World No.4, who had to fight fire with fire, muscles with muscles, pushed back and forth on the court, outside the court, but managing to produce sublime tennis to sail through. The victory in Dubai is Simona"s 10th WTA title, the second this year after starting the season with a win in Shenzhen.
Hugged by the crowd, cheered until the very last point, Simona celebrated the victory with her usual calm and smiley face. Why is it so easy to fall in love with Simona?