‘Roland Garros is my favourite Grand Slam. I always said that if I’m going to win one, I want it to be here’ — Simona Halep
A grand slam winner at last
By Roger Childs
She’s been ranked number one in the world since last October and was the top seed in the Paris Open.
However a grand slam title has eluded her.
Last year she squandered a one set 3-0 lead to lose the final to Jelena Ostapenko She had also been runner-up in 2014.
Over the weekend she faced US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the 2018 final.
“When I started to win games, I said that last year the same thing happened to me. So I said there is a chance to come back and win it. I believed in that, and my game was more relaxed. I could make more things on court, and that’s why I could win. Simona Halep
Stephens had much the better start and won the first set comfortably 6-3. But Halep fought back and started to get more first serves in.
The American was skillful moving her opponent from side to side, however Halep’s retrieval skills were up to the challenge, She gradually got on top and her more consistent ground strokes saw her take the second set 6-4.
The Romanian was quickly out to 3-0 in the decider and her thoughts must have gone back to a similar score in the 2017 final. This time she pushed on to 5-0 on the basis of a strong serving and a number of tightly angled winners.
Stephen won her next service, however Halep followed up with a confident service game and the title and a first grand slam was hers.