Simona Halep is one of the pillars of the modern women’s tour. The Romanian was the first racket of the world, won two Grand Slams and 22 other titles, and in the top 10 rankings she spent 373 weeks in a row – more than seven years without a break.
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Champion in Toronto
Halep fell out of the top ten in August last year. This year she dropped to 27th place. But now Simona is № 6 in the world. The title at a major tournament in Canada led to such a take-off, where in the final she beat the author of one of the most powerful breakthroughs of the season, Beatrice Haddad Maia – 6:3, 2:6, 6:3.
In the first set of the final, Halep lost with a break, won a point – and hit herself on the head with her hand. At that moment, she was very angry with herself.
In general, the fury of Halep at this tournament has become a familiar sight. In every match she had problems (first of all, double faults, of which she made almost a dozen in each meeting), and she reacted to them with hits with a racket on the court, screaming and, of course, hits to herself. She usually hit the hips or the head.
But after the semi-finals, Simona said that such behavior is good. «The fire is back. It’s a good sign that I’m fighting again. I can say that sometimes it helps me. I don’t always know if it’s good or not, but these things help me. Yes, it doesn’t look very good, but it’s a complex topic».
Return of passion
Recently, the theme of the return of passion for tennis is one of the central ones in Halep’s interview. The 30-year-old Romanian said that the game ceased to bring her pleasure (not least because of a series of injuries) and she was thinking about ending her career. Plus, she got married last year.
But this season, Simona decided to make a reshuffle – she broke up with coach Darren Cahill (with whom she won both of her Slams) and the manager with whom she worked for 14 years. For a while, she said that she did not want to hire a new coach at all, but would see what she could come up with herself.
However, in April, Patrick Mouratoglou, best known for his productive work with Serena Williams in the later stages of the American career, joined her team. And now Halep says that it was Muratoglu and the atmosphere of his academy (where Daniil Medvedev often trains and Stefanos Tsitsipas and Koko Gauff are based) that lit the fire in her again.
This year she reached the semi-finals of Wimbledon and won 38 matches – only Iga Sventek (48) has more. In Canada, she won her first major title since Rome 2020 and her first major title on hard court since 2018.
Throughout the tournament, she drove her opponents crazy with her signature combination of incredible stability with pinpoint bursts of aggression.
Halep called the return to the top 10 the main and only goal for the season. This goal has been achieved.
But Simona also said that Muratoglu could be the one to help her win a Grand Slam on hard.