World No.3 Simona Halep opened up about how her struggles during the clay and grass court swing flowed from a family tragedy that left her emotionally empty – according to an interview for wtatennis.com.
Right before the start of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March, Halep learned of the passing of her 29-year-old cousin but still elected to play the tournament, doing so in his memory. She went on to win what would be the biggest title of her career so far. But the loss lingered on as Halep continued her season.
“I played very well in Indian Wells and Miami,” Halep told WTA Insider. “I had tough moments in my family at that time and I think I was tired after. I didn’t realize that I was playing with my inside power and not my mind, because my mind was somewhere else.”
“I think I was tired mentally. And then at Wimbledon I couldn’t play. I couldn’t stay concentrated on what I have to do. So after Wimbledon I said Okay, I need to relax myself.”
After losing in the first round at Wimbledon, Halep returned to Romania to be with her family. “I can say I feel okay now,” she said. “I feel good because I had a long break home, about four weeks. I relaxed myself totally. I stayed with my family. I said before I was not going to go back to Romania but I stayed all four weeks in Romania because I like to be there and I feel good.”
Halep spent the last four weeks moving into a new apartment in Bucharest and hanging out with her family and friends in Bucharest and her hometown of Constanta. When pressed for anecdotes of any late-night exploits, she demurs. “I am chill,” she said, laughing. “No nightclubs. No chance. I don’t like them. They are noisy and open too late. We start our nightclubs starting at 1am. I am falling asleep at 1am.”
Now that she’s had some time and distance from the tragic events in March, Halep says she’s ready to move on. She split with her coach Victor Ionita in mid-June and has been working with Darren Cahill, who works with her as part of the adidas Player Development Program.
“I’m looking forward to start tournaments and play matches,” Halep said. “I need matches and I need confidence but this confidence I can get if I win matches. My goal for this year is to be qualified for Singapore. I love it there.”
Simona Halep’s cousin, aged 29, committed suicide on March 9, 2015 as he was found hanged with a cord in the hallway of his home in Constanta, ‘Romania Journal’ reported at the time.
According to the Constanta police, Nicica Arghir was found hanged in the lobby of his home in Constanta; the young man was discovered by an uncle who called on the police.
Nicica Arghir was 29 years old and apparently committed suicide because of high debts due to his passion for gambling.