Sensational Simona Halep hits back to win first Grand Slam in style

Lynette Rowe
June 10, 2018

Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens meet in the final of the 2018 tennis French Open.

"It was wonderful and thank you for your support", she told the crowd - most of whom appeared to be backing her - on court Philippe-Chatrier.

"In the last game I didn't feel like I could breathe any more and I didn't want to repeat a year ago, so I did everything I could. I dreamed of this moment since I started to play tennis and I can't believe it", she added. Stephens is aiming for her second, having won last year's US Open.

Take a look at some of the best tweets after Halep's hard-earned victory. After leveling the match at a set apiece, Halep looked sharper and more energetic in the first couple of games in the third set.

The 25-year-old said she was proud to have reached the final but hit out over her treatment in the media after her breakthrough US Open triumph last September was followed by a run of eight successive defeats.

Stephens spoke about Halep's rally after the first set. Halep, one of eight women in the Open Era to lose in their first three Grand Slam finals, must dig deep to win every point given Stephens hasn't much court to cover behind the baseline.

Stephens avoided the embarrassment of a bagel in the final set but Halep held her serve to win her maiden Grand Slam title.

Simona Halep explains how she feels, after beating Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to win her first Grand Slam at the French Open.

"She didn't miss a lot", said Muguruza, who could have claimed the No. 1 ranking had she won the title in Paris.

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In fact, her next match win after the US Open did not come until Acapulco in February.

While Stephens temporarily halted her slide, getting to 4-all, Halep used two consecutive powerful forehand winners to hold in the next game. "I wish in the future to play more finals here, because it's a really attractive tournament and it is my favourite one". She is the better overall player than Stephens, and clay just widens the margin.

Halep survived a pressurised service game and then turned the screw, eking out a break point from which Stephens planted wide to force a deciding set.

Stephens was a set and a break up on Halep before the Romanian's greater stamina told in the final.

Muguruza, a two-time major champion who was coming off a lopsided victory against Sharapova, took quite a while to get going against Halep, who managed to keep sending ball after ball back over the net.

However, Halep then broke Stephens' serve a third time to clinch the second set 6-4.

A rattled Halep was broken to start the second and Stephens built on the advantage by digging out of a 0-30 hole.

'Congratulations on your first Slam.

No surprise then that the charismatic Stephens is not getting too far ahead of herself for Saturday's final against two-time runner-up and world number one Halep.

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