Hard work pays off! Consistently improving her tennis, world No.1 Simona Halep finally ticked a Grand Slam title off her to-do list, rallying to beat reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the final of Roland Garros.
Playing her fourth Grand Slam final and third in Paris, Halep moved impressively, returned balls from impossible positions, played aggressively and committed fewer unforced errors than her opponent to record a 3-6 6-4 6-1 triumph.
Stephens was superb in the first set, but Halep was not bad either, although she was a bit stiff and her serve was below par, so when the American raced to a 4-1 lead, she quickly went all the way to winning the first set. The momentum continued to be on Stephens’ side at the start of the second set, as the tenth seed went 2-0 up, but that’s when Halep decided to relax, enjoy her game and definitely not panic.
The Romanian then won four straight games, which included her winning 11 of 12 points. It seemed that Stephens was starting to lose heart, and even though she did manage to recover to 4-4, Halep broke her serve three times in a row to win the second set and go 5-0 in the third before clinching the biggest title of her career.
Halep’s route to the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen included victories over Alison Riske in the first round, Taylor Townsend in the second, Andrea Petkovic in the third, seed No.16 Elise Mertens in the fourth, seed No.12 Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals, third seed and 2016 Roland Garros champion Garbine Muguruza in the semifinals, when the No.1 ranking was on the line, and finally Stephens.
Halep’s blue winning apparel includes the Nike Summer Zonal Cool Slam Tank, Nike Summer Zonal Cool Smash Skirt, Nike Summer Tennis Hoodie, and Nike Air Zoom Vapor X Shoes. For a complete overview of women’s tennis outfits at Roland Garros 2018 read my article “WTA fashion in Paris: Nike’s engineered blues, Serena’s bodysuit, Adidas’ flowy pleats”.
Congratulations Ms. Halep on you first Grand Slam tournament victory. Good match, as Ms. Stephens put up a good fight.
Indeed congrats, Ms. Simona Halep! She was my pick from the get-go. This woman has been grinding very hard for a long, long time; just unable to close out matches successfully. Her hard work has finally paid off. We’ll see if she’s not a one slam (or 2) wonder like some of the others on the scene these days. Sloane, as does others, lacks consistency when it comes to winning back-to-back majors. No one can come close to Serena Williams’ slams record nor her consistency, no one. When she’s healthy and competes, you just automatically expect her to win, because that’s her track record. Sloane really could’ve won the title. It’s unfortunate she ran out of gas. Simona definitely earned and deserved this one. If Serena’s not at 100% for Wimbledon, even Venus has a chance to win the title.