Published: Sun, June 10, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Simona Halep wins French Open, beating Sloane Stephens

Simona Halep wins French Open, beating Sloane Stephens

Speaking to the media after her semi-final victory against Garbine Muguruza, Halep told RolandGarros.com: "Okay, let's make a deal". She lost her first set of this tournament, and since then she's been all business, winning with tactics and winning with superior movement.

She wanted so much to finally win a Grand Slam title and was sure that, one day, she would. Stephens slowed down and Halep turned up the heat with an intensity that led to her first Grand Slam title.

Sharapova was hardly at her best right from the start, double-faulting three times to get broken in the opening game.

A year after blowing the French Open final from a set and a break up, Simona Halep won the title, at the third attempt, from a set and a break down, leaving Sloane Stephens spent and battered at the end of a wonderful conclusion to the tournament.

The 25-year-old's ranking slumped to 957th after an 11-month absence and a first-round defeat at Wimbledon last year, but she bounced back in stunning fashion by winning the US Open against her close friend Madison Keys - the same player Stephens beat in the semi-finals at Roland Garros on Thursday.

Having come close in Australia and been unfortunate to lose to Caroline Wozniacki she was a popular victor, having avoided what would have been a crushing defeat.

Halep had vocal support from the start on Court Philippe Chatrier, but Stephens was the better player in the baseline rallies and made an early breakthrough as two big forehands left the top seed scrambling.

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We are at the ultimate match of this year's French Open.

"I think there is a lot of autobiographies out in the world, especially in the sporting world, that don't necessarily speak about whether they were rivals or someone they competed against".

Stephens fell to 0-7 against No. 1-ranked players during her career. "In the last game I didn't feel like I could breathe any more and didn't want to repeat past year, so I cannot believe it". That's why I got angry with someone.

Sharapova improved with each round of her quarterfinal run, but ran out of steam against Garbine Muguruza.

Simona Halep is coming off a straight sets win over Garbiñe Muguruza that took 17 games to decide. "So it's just, like, I think it would be more shocking if I wasn't in tears". I'm backing Halep to win in three sets. "But I will be, I think, more confident, because I have a lot of experience. Both of us will be ready to give everything we have", she said.

Beyond even that, her 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win in the French Open women's final against the surging American Stephens, a match with a caliber that fluctuated between good and lofty and stunning, had presented Halep with a fresh set of goblins.

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