Tennis: Simona Halep defeats Sloane Stephens to win Roland Garros title!

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Romanian tennis player, Simona Halep, 1st WTA, has won on Saturday the first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, after defeating Sloane Stephens (US, 10th WTA) in the final 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

The match lasted two hours and three minutes. It was the third final played by Halep at Roland Garros, after the ones played in 2014 and 2017. This year Simona Halep lost the final at Australian Open against Caroline Wozniacki.

Both players had only one ace. Halep leads Stephens 6-2 in direct matches now.

For this performance, Simona Help will receive 2,000 WTA points and EUR 2.2 million as prize money.

Halep has won the title at Roland Garros 10 years after winning the French Open junior’s title, 45 years after tennis legend Ilie Nastase won in Paris and 40 years after the title won by Romanian tennis player, Virgina Ruzici.

World No.1 Simona Halep ended her quest for a maiden Grand Slam title in emphatic style, coming back from a set down to defeat Sloane Stephens at the French Open and lift the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen, wtatennis.com informs.

It was no easy road to get there, however, as Halep faced her fair share of testing moments throughout the fortnight; she had to stage comeback wins in the first round against Alison Riske – she was down 0-5 in the first set – and in the quarterfinals against Angelique Kerber, recovering from a 0-4 deficit in the opener.

Her World No.1 ranking was also under fire throughout the whole tournament – she fought off six challengers and needed to return to the final to stay at the top.

Despite the vocal “SI-MO-NA” chants raining from the stands, the match started out with Stephens fully in charge. The American’s patient and aggressive style of tennis forced Halep to go for bigger shots – and drew out unforced errors. Stephens, who came into the match with a 6-0 record in championship matches, looked firmly in command despite contesting her career-first final in Europe.

She grabbed the opening break at 3-1, and although Halep seemed to find her rhythm as she played from behind against the score, she wasn’t able to make any inroads on the Stephens’ serve. She created just one break chance the whole set, in the very last game – and the American served out the opening set with little fuss.

But Halep finally halted her momentum, recovering from an early break in the second and taking advantage of a dip in energy from Stephens to level at 2-2, jolting the American out of her rhythm and putting together her comeback. They traded breaks twice more, but Halep’s forehand was firing as the Romanian edged through in the second.

The third set was a completely different story for Halep, who quickly built up a double break lead to get ahead 5-0. She had every answer for Stephens’ power and variety, and sealed the victory with an ace to claim her first-ever Grand Slam title.

Photos: TV captures Eurosport

 

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