Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Simona Halep beats Sloane Stephens for French Open title

Maria Sharapova hits back at Serena Williams for '100 percent hearsay' comment about her autobiography French Open 2018: Simona Halep beats Garbine Muguruza to reach final
Shannon Reynolds | 10 June, 2018, 00:44

While that match lasted two hours and 14 minutes, Sharapova was on her way home after 70 minutes.

Halep celebrated her victory in a way usually seen at Wimbledon, climbing into her box to greet friends and family.

1 in the world, Simona Halep proved she could be a Grand Slam champion, too. Stephens slowed down and Halep turned up the heat with an intensity that led to her first Grand Slam title.

Simona Halep reached her third French Open final, and held on to the world number one spot, with a straight-sets victory over Garbine Muguruza.

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.

She endured an eight-match losing streak after leaving NY, going 0-6 for the rest of 2017 and then 0-2 to begin 2018, including a first-round loss at the Australian Open. She's a great opponent, a great player.

Stephens closed in on her second Grand Slam title by beating pal Madison Keys 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday in the first all-American semifinal at the French Open since 2002. Stephens looks to win her second title of the year and her seventh title of her career. "I missed a lot at the beginning of the match".

Eventually, Halep had dropped that racket, climbed the stands to hug and cry with her coach, Darren Cahill, and had said to the crowd that she told herself at 3-6, 0-2, "Okay, everything is gone".

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But she feels confident: 'I have more experience now. That's why I got angry with someone.

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

But from 0-2 down in the second set, Halep was able to change the flow of the match.

But she failed to convert any of those, and Halep held there, before breaking at love to end it. Like past year, I feel Halep will make an excellent start to the match but when it gets tight, she might just falter. Kim Clijsters lost her first four major finals before winning the U.S. Open in 2005.

Halep finished runner-up at the French Open in 2014 and 2017 and there are mixed omens ahead of the final. But I get closer to them, just asking who was it? Halep saved two match points to win that one.

Daniel Rapaport: In a final featuring two players as evenly matched as Halep and Stephens-both will be top-five after this tournament, and both are without question one of the five best players in the world-the decisive factor is often mentality.

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.

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