French Open champion, Simona Halep told reporters that she thought she had lost another chance at winning a Grand Slam before fighting back from a set down against No.10 seed, Sloane Stephens.
Halep was down a set and break at the start of the second before eventually clawing her way back into the match and prevail over Stephens with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory.
She said, “I felt ‘it’s gone, it’s not going to happen again’, but it’s ok. I have to just play. When I started to win games, I said that last year the same thing happened to me. So I said there is a chance to come back and win it”, referring to her loss against Jelena Ostapenko last year.
“I believed in that and my game was more relaxed. I could make more things on court and that’s why I could win”, the world no.1 added.
Halep reached the top of the rankings in October but did not have a Grand Slam title to show for it. All that changed yesterday but she admitted that she had trouble believing it when she was closing in.
“I was very strong mentally to finish that. It’s a special moment. I was dreaming for it since I started to play tennis. Roland Garros is my favourite slam. I always said that if I’m going to win one, I want it to be here”, said Halep.
Meanwhile Sloane Stephens, winner of last year’s US Open, spoke about why the game went away from her. “She raised her game, she raised her level. Not much you can really do about that. I competed the best I could and the better player won the match”, said Stephens.
She said she was happy for her opponent after a hard-fought win. “She’s had a tough journey. I think winning here is very special for her and I’m glad she finally got her first slam. It’s a beautiful thing, very special.”