“Really Sad”: Simona Halep Names Legend She Regrets Not Having Played Against

Published 03/26/2021, 4:30 AM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 10, 2021 Romania’s Simona Halep in action during her second round match against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic REUTERS/Kelly Defina


Romanian tennis star Simona Halep has named a player she regrets not having had an opportunity to play against.

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Replying to fan queries on the sidelines of the Miami Open, the two-time Grand Slam champion said that she considers former Belgian tennis star Justine Henin as her idol.

Halep added that she feels “sad” not to have been able to play the seven-time Grand Slam champion.

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Simona Halep names Henin as her idol, says she feels sad not to have played her

A former World Number 1, Henin won four of her seven career Grand Slam crowns at the French Open.

Also, a two-time US Open champion, she, along with four-time Grand Slam winner Kim Clijsters, put Belgium on the global tennis map and was a top star alongside the Williams sisters – Serena and Venus – in the women’s game in her playing days.

Asked to name a player who she regrets not to have played, Halep said, “Definitely Justine Henin because she was my idol. I’m really sad that I could not play against her.”

Halep launched her Miami Open campaign with a come-from-behind win on Friday

Currently ranked third in singles, Halep opened her Miami campaign with a characteristically feisty come-from-behind win on Friday.

Going against Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia, the 29-year-old Romanian dropped the opening set 3-6.

However, with her back quite literally against the wall, the World Number 3 rolled up her sleeves and came roaring back to win the next two sets at a canter and set up a round-of-32 clash with Latvian Anastasija Sevastova.

The eventual score-line read 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 in the Romanian’s favor.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 10, 2021 Romania’s Simona Halep celebrates winning her second round match against Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic REUTERS/Kelly Defina

Struggling to find her bearings and trying to set the pace in the early exchanges, Halep fell to a break of serve in the opening set and couldn’t recover.

Facing an early exit at a tournament where she is billed as one of the title-contenders alongside defending champion and top-seed Ashleigh Barty and reigning Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka, the Romanian needed to respond to going a set down.

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And respond she did as she secured a crucial break of serve of the Frenchwoman and held her own to take the match into a decider. Halep was at her dominant best in the final set as she blitzed her way to a 6-0 win, underlining a strong comeback.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

824 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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