Halep tops Stephens to win French Open

Halep tops Stephens to win French Open

In order to win her first Grand Slam title, Simona Halep had to reflect on one of her most painful defeats.

"She raised her game, raised her level", Stephens said in a press conference after a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 loss Saturday in Paris. "I wish in the future to play more finals here, because it's a really handsome tournament and it is my favourite one".

Halep came back from a set down to beat Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to end her poor run in Grand Slam tournaments and justify her status as world number one.

Stephens opened the match strong, beating Halep, 6-3, before her game started to deteriorate.

"In the last game I didn't feel like I could breathe any more and I didn't want to repeat previous year, so I did everything I could".

Her third came earlier this year to another perennial underachiever on the biggest stage, Dane Caroline Wozniacki, in a marathon match in sweltering conditions at the Australian Open.

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She couldn't capitalise on it though as Halep found another break to take the set and force a decider.

"Thanks guys it was fantastic and I felt your support", Halep, twice a runner-up in Paris before today, told the crowd who were chanting her name.

The Romanian knows better than anyone how Grand Slam finals can turn though after her 2017 heartbreak against Ostapenko, and she broke back to love to the delight of the crowd.

One can only imagine what was going through Halep's mind serving at 5-1 but an ace steadied her nerves before she claimed her first Grand Slam at the 32nd attempt.

During the trophy ceremony, Stephens - more experienced in such matters, given her triumph in NY last September - noticed that Halep was casually holding her new silver trophy.

In last year's final, the top-ranked Romanian led Jelena Ostapenko by a set and 3-0.

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The 26-year old is clearly a popular figure on the women's tour, and a host of names took to social media to congratulate her on her success, including Britain's shining light Johanna Konta. Simona Halep v/s Sloane Stephens French Open Women's singles final will be telecast live on Star Sports Select 1 and Star Sports Select 1 HD. We've lost a lot of money picking her to win in finals only to look like a different player in the last match.

The 10th seed was by far the more composed of the two players, with Halep playing the aggressor but unable to breach her defence.

What time does the Simona Halep vs Sloane Stephens French Open women's singles final start?

Stephens was unable to repeat her US Open heroics at Roland Garros.

"So I lost three times until now and no one died, so it will be okay", said the Romanian, who leads Stephens 5-2 in their career head-to-head meetings and has won their last four matches in straight sets. After leveling the match at a set apiece, Halep looked sharper and more energetic in the first couple of games in the third set.

Halep said there was a simple formula behind her major triumph. "So to be here from there, I think, is rewarding, because those times were not easy". It's my favorite Grand Slam.

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Simona Halep managed to make a comeback and win the second set.

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