‘She Always Been My Idol’ – Simona Halep Talks About Idolizing Former 7-Time Grand Slam Champion While Growing Up

Published 04/28/2022, 11:19 PM EDT

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Former world no.1, Simona Halep is currently playing in the Madrid Open. Today, she started her clay-court campaign with a win over Chinese player Zhang Shuai. Before her first match at the Madrid Open, the Romanian star had an interview with Tennis Majors. During that interview, she talked about various things, including her tennis idol growing up. 

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via Reuters

Simona Halep picked Justine Henin as her tennis idol growing up

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In that interview, the 2-time Grand Slam winner, Simona Halep, opened up about her tennis idol. Interestingly, she picked the Belgian player and the 7-time Grand Slam winner, Justine Henin. According to the Romanian player, she and Henin have a lot of similarities. 

“She always been my idol. I think I just compare myself with her because of the height, because of the game, and yeah… I just felt I have some similarities with her. Ans I can still play tennis even if I’m not very tall.” Simona stated when asked about her idol. 

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Notably, Henin was one of the very few players in the women’s game who used a one-handed backhand. When asked about playing one-handed, the Romanian said, “No, but I try in the practice. I love it, it’s okay, it’s decent. But I feel it’s so different and so difficult to play and at least at this level it’s impossible.”

Simona also talked about meeting her idol for the very first time. “Yes, I met her a few years ago in Canada at the tournament. I talked to her a little bit but I was super nervous. So, I didn’t ask much, but it was a super cool moment. She was super nice to me,” the Romanian further stated. 

Simona will face a tough opponent in the third round at the Madrid Open

After facing some difficulties with various coaching changes, Simona finally found a permanent coach in Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams’ former coach. It looks like their new partnership working pretty well, as she destroyed the Chinese player Zhang Shuai in straight sets to move to the next round; the result was 6-2,6-3. 

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In the next round, she will face the world no.2, who also won her first match pretty easily. Badosa has been in fine form, and clay is one of her favorite surfaces. It will be interesting to see if the Romanian can overcome the Spaniard. 

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Watch This Story: A day with young Serena Williams and Venus Williams

Can Simona beat Badosa in the third round of the Madrid Open? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by:

Debkinkar Maity

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Debkinkar Maity is a Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. His desire to become a sports journalist inspired him to take up a degree in journalism and mass communication, and he hasn't looked back ever since. Following the sport for over a decade now, Debkinkar has an ardent love for Roger Federer.
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Edited by:

Ajinkya Aswale

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