Roland Garros: Simona Halep Crowned for the First Time

Simona Halep of Romania wins Roland-Garros by defeating American Sloane Stephens in the final on June 9, 2018. (© AFP / Thomas SAMSON)

Simona Halep, the world No. 1, beaten twice in the final in Paris, finally won the title at Roland Garros by beating on Saturday 9th June, 2018 the American Sloane Stephens.

Simona Halep of Romania , N.1 worldwide, won her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros at the expense of 10th- seeded American Sloane Stephens in 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday.

Halep (26) had failed in her first three major finals, in Paris in 2014 and 2017, and at the Australian Open in January.Stephens (25), crowned at the US Open nine months ago, knows instead her first defeat in the final, she who won the first six contests in his career.

The reversed trend

This match was anything but a pleasure for the strategist born in Constanta, on the shores of the Black Sea, who had experienced his greatest disappointment last year on the same court Philippe-Chatrier.

She had led a set and then offered three 4-0 balls before collapsing against the unexpected Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, crowned at 20.

This defeat saddened me for months. I was depressed. I was so close to the title!

This time, the scenario was reversed. Led 6-3, 2-0, she had to overcome her stress and the constancy of her opponent, impeccable until then. His bad habit of cracking in major events (16 wins for 14 losses before Saturday) hovered again.

Since last year’s loss to the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina in Rome, she lost six of her seven finals. His only win was at a minor tournament in Shenzhen in January.

But back to the wall, the protégé of Australian Darren Cahill, former coach Andre Agassi, found the resources to reverse the trend. She limited the errors (17 provoked, 10 direct in the first inning) and stacked four consecutive games including two whites to take orders for the first time.

Equalization to 1 set everywhere has not been achieved in simplicity. Stephens glued in the wake to 4 games everywhere. It was necessary that Halep hold good to the service and push the Floridienne to the fault to afford a decisive round.

Visibly liberated, the N.1 world, assured to keep his chair before the final, has scrolled the games in his favor (7 in a row between the 2nd and 3rd act). Stephens has found precision and aggressiveness to avoid a 6-0. But Halep held the shock on his last throw.

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