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Simona Halep gets a signature win

Simona Halep after defeating Li Na during the

Simona Halep after defeating Li Na during the Women's US Open 2011 match. (Getty Images) Photo Credit: Simona Halep after defeating Na Li during the Women's US Open 2011 match. (Getty Images)

Simona Halep’s steady play during her upset of Li Na Tuesday is reflected in her rise from a year-end ranking of No. 352 in 2008 to her No. 53 ranking this week — and counting.

The 5-foot-6 Romanian’s path to glory included the decision in 2009 to have breast reduction surgery, going from a 34DD cup size — which, she told reporters, had “made me uncomfortable” — to a 34C.

Asked about the surgery last week during a telephone interview from a tournament in Dallas, Halep demurred.

“It’s my life,” the 19-year-old said. “I spoke about this, and it’s not so good. I made a mistake — and now I don’t want to speak anymore.”

The tour’s top-ranked teen had plenty to say, though.

How much do you need to improve? Maybe in two years, I want to ... have [a] complete game. My technique is not so good now, but I’m working at it.

What do you think of Serena Williams, who beat you at Wimbledon? It was my dream when I was young to play with one of the [Williams] sisters.

[Serena] will be No. 1 again, I think. ... Her power — I cannot have, I think. (Laughs) ... She’s so strong, and I hope I will be in the future, but I cannot [be] like her. Who is your favorite men’s player? Roger Federer. He is the best. He’s made to play tennis, because he is so natural [on] the court. ... I’m just watching on the Internet his forehand, backhand. ... I try sometimes, but it is not easy, because he is a man and he has strong hands.

What do you like to do in New York? I’m going to shops. Sport shops. Victoria’s Secret is nice. I love that because it’s just in [the] USA. 

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