Tennis: Halep's dream year continues as she beats Stosur to win Kremlin Cup title

Romania's Simona Halep holds her trophy after her victory over Australia's Samantha Stosur in the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament final match in Moscow on Sunday, Oct 20, 2013. Halep's superb year continued on Sunday as she captured her fifth titl
Romania's Simona Halep holds her trophy after her victory over Australia's Samantha Stosur in the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament final match in Moscow on Sunday, Oct 20, 2013. Halep's superb year continued on Sunday as she captured her fifth title of the year, beating Stosur 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 in the final of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow. -- PHOTO: AFP

MOSCOW (AFP) - Romanian Simona Halep's superb year continued on Sunday as she captured her fifth title of the year, beating Australian Samantha Stosur 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 in the final of the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.

The 22-year-old fifth seed - ranked 18th in the world - took 1hr 41min to defeat her seventh-seeded opponent and 2011 US Open champion and record only her second win in five meetings with the Australian.

"It's an incredible year for me and I am enjoying every moment of it," said Halep, who is projected to break into the top 15 after her latest win.

"Now I already have all of my thoughts about the Tournament of Champions in Sofia (the second-tier end-of-season tournament, the top event taking place in Istanbul in the coming week).

"It's a very special event for me and I'm preparing thoroughly for it and hope to perform there at my top level."

Halep and Stosur, who was looking for her second successive title, having won in Osaka last Sunday, were evenly matched throughout the first set but the Romanian took a firm grip on the tie-break to take the set in just over an hour.

Stosur, 29, started the second set brightly, breaking her opponent immediately but Halep, who has won all of her four previous finals this year, stepped up a gear and broke back before breaking Stosur's serve on another two occasions to ease to victory.

Later on Sunday, top-seeded Frenchman Richard Gasquet will face Kazakhstan qualifier Mikhail Kukushkin in the ATP final.