Romanian tennis player Simona Halep won the French Open, consolidated her top position in the world standings
Simona Halep has won the French Open, albeit on her third attempt. Tension was high before and throughout the game, and she could barely breathe during the final game, Halep told the press after the match. “It’s amazing. I’ve dreamt of this moment ever since I started playing tennis”, the 26-year-old tennis player added. Her road to glory was ridden by many obstacles. In 2014 she lost her first final in Paris to the powerful Maria Sharapova, who is now trying to return to her former form after being suspended for doping.
Then came the 2017 final lost to the young Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, who surprised everyone with her enthusiasm and powerful tennis play. This year, Simona Halep played and lost her third Grand Slam final to Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in the Australian Open final. Ahead of the 2018 French Open, most specialists agreed Halep was now ready to scoop her first major trophy, all the more so as the French Open was one of her favorite tournaments. In the past year Halep has sensibly improved her serve and net play and has stepped up her aggressiveness.
This played a key role in Halep knocking out two of her strong opponents, both Grand Slam winners, Germany’s Angelique Kerber and Spain’s Garbine Muguruza. In the final match on Saturday, Sloane Stephens, herself a US Open winner, had a perfect start. She won the first set and managed to break early into the second one. Halep then subjected her to high pressure, turning the odds to her favor. The Romanians’ connection to the French Open goes back 45 years, when Ilie Nastase won the men’s competition.
Five years later, Virginia Ruzici, who has been by Simona’s side throughout the hard years of her ascension, was the first to win the women’s singles. Ilie Nastase urged Simona to further indulge her appetite for new Grand Slam titles. The international press hailed Halep’s win at Roland Garros, the first major of her career. Under the headline “Halep banishes the ghosts”, the tournament’s official website referred to Halep’s previously lost finals. In turn, the official WTA website writes “Halep lifts her first Grand Slam trophy at Roland Garros”.
Moreover, L’Equipe writes about Simona Halep’s “recognition”, while the BBC writes that “Simona Halep finally won her first Grand Slam title with a gutsy comeback victory over American 10th seed Sloane Stephens in the French Open final”. France Press news agency writes about Halep, “the queen of the French Open”, adding that “being world number 1 without winning a Grand Slam tournament is a feeling of unfulfillment”. On Saturday Halep played the 31st final of her career. So far the Romanian player has won 17 titles. Her win in Paris has helped consolidate her top position in the world standings. (Edited by D. Vijeu)