Simona Halep Breaks Through, Beating Sloane Stephens for the French Open Title
10 June, 2018, 00:47 | Author: Candice Daniels
"Thanks guys it was incredible and I felt your support", Halep, twice a runner-up in Paris before Saturday, told the crowd who were chanting her name.
No. 3 seed Muguruza professed not to know that she could overtake current world No. 1 Simona Halep of Romania by winning the Thursday semifinal.
Stephens has been so impressive in Paris, dropping just one set on the way to the final, that it's hard to believe she went through a horror run of results not too long ago. In all, Halep won 12 of the final 15 games, serving out the match at 5-1 and then dropping her racket as she faced her team in the players' box with both her arms held high. The reference to her book seemed rather irrelevant given the one-sided nature of yesterday's match - Sharapova won only three games.
Stephens is aiming for her second, having won last year's US Open.
Maria Sharapova's first French Open in three years came to a muted conclusion Wednesday. A lot of emotion, wondering am I ever going to be the same?
"It was very nice to play like that", Halep said. "When you're writing an autobiography, I don't think there is any reason to write anything that's not true", said Sharapova after losing 6-2 6-1.
"I think it would be odd for me not to include someone that I have competed against for so many years", Sharapova said.
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"I have actually been told quite often that I'll never win or do well because I'm too nice of a person and I just don't have it". She led Jelena Ostapenko by a set and 3-0 in last year's final at Roland Garros.
A first hold and subsequent break in the second set helped the Spaniard to 4-2 before the Romanian responded to level at four apiece.
Wimbledon begins in about three weeks' time, and Halep can certainly translate her offense-defense combination to grass. Although Halep leads the head-to-head match-up, this is the final of a major. Halep's only way to win this match is in straight sets.
Keys briefly rallied to pull one break back, but Stephens did not waste her second opportunity, sealing victory on her first match point with a glorious backhand victor down the line. That includes the French Open in 2014 and 2017, and the Australian Open in January. "Looking at Madrid, Rome, I think that's always one of the toughest back-to-backs on the calendar, especially on a surface like clay".
At 26, she's still in the prime of her career, so there's a strong chance the world No. 1 will reach more finals in the coming years. I have just to play like I did yesterday (against Muguruza).
Stephens was broken to end the set, making a pair of unforced errors down the line on the second and last point of the game as she attempted to alter her patterns facing a now more aggressive opponent.
Stephens has dropped just one set this entire tournament and has been playing extremely clean tennis, making very few mistakes. Stephens avoided the embarrassment of a bagel in the final set but Halep held her serve to win her maiden Grand Slam title.
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French Open glance: Keys, Stephens resume rivalry in Paris
Stephens struggled to reproduce her performance during the fortnight at Flushing Meadows over the remainder of the season. Novak Djokovic found himself two sets down against Marco Cecchinato, losing the second set 7-6 (4) in a tiebreak.