Monday, 25 June, 2018

A few tactical changes made all the difference for Simona Halep

Halep has won all seven matches against left-handers this campaign Halep has won all seven matches against left-handers this campaign Credit Getty Images
| 10 June, 2018, 10:15

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

Halep's win led to an outpouring of joy from the tennis world, and her peers and legends took to Twitter to congratulate the newly-crowned Grand Slam champion, as well as heap praise on runner-up Stephens.

Halep beat American Sloane Stephens in three sets 3-6, 6-4, 6-1, after a match in which she mentally dominated her opponent, putting behind the memory of the lost finals in 2014 and 2017.

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

"I believed and I never gave up".

Halep is bidding to become only the second Romanian woman to win a Grand Slam after 1978 French Open champion Virginia Ruzici, who is now Halep's manager and had a special ceremony on Court Philippe Chatrier earlier this week to commemorate her victory 40 years ago. Halep then fell to 0-3 with a trophy on the line at the Australian Open in January, where she was beaten by Caroline Wozniacki.

Halep's status as one of the WTA Tour's most-liked players was proven as several of her rivals took to Twitter to reflect on the victory.

That determination when things aren't going her way has served Stephens well again at Roland Garros - she arrived in Paris after a poor clay-court season that had yet to yield a quarter-final.

Simona Halep was so desperate to end her grand slam drought she could barely breathe as she served for the French Open.

"Tennis is very situational", Stephens said a year ago.


'[Stephens is a] Great player and it's always tough to play against her.

Halep was closing in on the title she craved so much, while Stephens was wilting fast, and a comfortable hold made it 5-0.

The match Saturday is the 26-year-old Halep's fourth major final.

The American, who will break into the top five for the first time when the new rankings are released on Monday, broke Halep in the fourth game before taking the first set after 41 minutes.

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

Jana Novotna, the Czech star, also lost her first three major finals, finally winning Wimbledon in 1998.

"I think now I've matured a little bit and have recognised the opportunities when they have been presented". She has lost all three in the past, including two at Roland Garros in 2014 and a year ago. Halep is looking for her first career Major title.

She fought back from a set down against Maria Sharapova in 2014 only to lose a tight decider, before seeing a set and 3-0 lead disappear in a barrage of Jelena Ostapenko winners previous year. The matchup was the first All-American semifinal match at Roland Garros since 2002.

Both Halep and Cahill thought Stephens looked a little gassed.

Simona Halep appears to be the clear favourite to win this match, which probably means she won't win it.

Recommended

Romero misses weight for UFC 225 main event Romero misses weight for UFC 225 main event The main event is positioned on top of arguably the most exciting card of action the UFC have put together this year. Also, Rafael dos Anjos will fight controversial up-and-comer Colby Covington in the interim welterweight fight.

Justify wins Triple Crown with dominant victory at Belmont Justify wins Triple Crown with dominant victory at Belmont Darren Rogers, spokesman for Churchill Downs , tweeted after the Belmont that Justify would return there on Monday afternoon. Given the fatigue of hard races two weeks apart, they could see Justify as beatable at the Belmont.

Aide dismissive of McCain departs White House - 6/6/2018 1:02:36 AM Aide dismissive of McCain departs White House - 6/6/2018 1:02:36 AM Her father was "all about character and bipartisanship and something greater than yourself", Ms McCain said. After the comment was leaked to the media, the president demanded a crackdown on the "leakers".

Beyonce and Jay Z renew wedding vows in OTRII tour footage Beyonce and Jay Z renew wedding vows in OTRII tour footage It is unclear who the babies in the photos are and why Beyonce and Jay-Z chose to display these portraits during the tour opening. According to various reports - all featuring confirmations from the singer's rep - the babies in the photo are not Sir and Rumi .

Karnataka HC clears decks for release of Rajinikanth's 'Kaala' in state Karnataka HC clears decks for release of Rajinikanth's 'Kaala' in state There were rumours doing the rounds that Rockline Venkatesh had come forward to release the flick following Rajinikanth's request. The actor said, "Some people are opposing the release of my movie". "You want an injunction against the release of the movie".

Rafael Nadal defeats Diego Schwartzman to reach French Open semi-finals Rafael Nadal defeats Diego Schwartzman to reach French Open semi-finals The Spanish third seed, who was the champion in Paris in 2016, swept aside the Russian 6-2, 6-1 in just an hour and 10 minutes. The victor of the match will play either third seed Marin Cilic or Schwartzman's compatriot Juan Martin del Potro .

Canada trade minister attacks Trump duties, says Ottawa will resist tariffs Canada trade minister attacks Trump duties, says Ottawa will resist tariffs The official said a range of issues remain to be resolved but the US looks forward to continuing the negotiations with Canada. A day after the United States slapped punitive tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum, U.S.

Garbine Muguruza beats Maria Sharapova to reach the French Open semis Garbine Muguruza beats Maria Sharapova to reach the French Open semis Halep is still chasing her first Grand Slam title after several near-misses. "I think she did a lot of things better than I did". When the top-seeded Halep and No 3 Muguruza meet Thursday, their contrasting styles will match up with plenty at stake.

Trump, Trudeau tariff phone call gets testy after War of 1812 mention What administration officials have insisted is only a "trade dispute" appears closer to becoming a trade war. It's when countries attack each other's trade with taxes and quotas.

SpaceX Launches Satellite for SES in Its 11th Mission This Year SpaceX Launches Satellite for SES in Its 11th Mission This Year According to the company CEO Elon Musk, this could open the solar system to exploration while minimizing the cost of spacecraft. The spent stage then fell away and the single engine powering the second stage took over to continue the trip to space.

Leroy Sané left out of Germany's World Cup squad Leroy Sané left out of Germany's World Cup squad Germany head coach Joachim Low has sprung a huge surprise by leaving Leroy Sane out of his 23-man squad for the Fifa World Cup . For Germany , he has clearly had too many lows to be considered a viable option for a World Cup .

British PM tells Trump steel tariffs are 'unjustified' British PM tells Trump steel tariffs are 'unjustified' "They agreed to discuss this and wider issues of free and fair global trade further at the G7 summit later this week", he added. Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid regularly attacked Republicans for what he called a "Koch addiction".

Watch the 2018 French Open Watch the 2018 French Open The 72nd-ranked player beat Djokovic in a 3-hour, 26-minute match that ended in a tiebreak, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 1-6, 7-6 (11). He would not face 10-time champion Rafael Nadal - a rematch of the 2012 and 2014 finals - until the final.

Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 850 for Windows PCs Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 850 for Windows PCs Qualcomm only showed their big and clunky reference tablet running simple Windows app store games like Asphalt 8. Qualcomm on Tuesday at Computex 2018 unveiled the Snapdragon 850 Mobile Compute Platform .

Stephen Colbert Pushes Missing Melania Trump Conspiracy: ‘This Is Just Weird’ Stephen Colbert Pushes Missing Melania Trump Conspiracy: ‘This Is Just Weird’ The President also talked about the strong economy during the event, the person inside the room said. However, the first lady's absence made her appearance all the more newsworthy.