Simona Halep Describes the Dark Phase When She Wanted to ‘Run off Court’

Published 12/13/2020, 6:00 AM EST
Romania’s Simona Halep as she celebrates winning the final with the trophy after Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova retired from the match after sustaining an injury Riccardo Antimiani/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo


Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep has shared the gamut of emotions that she runs through during matches.

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Moments that made Simona Halep ‘ashamed of herself’

In a video that chronicled her journey as a tennis star, the Romanian said there are moments in a match that make her want to run off the court.

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She revealed the experience hit home after spending some years in the Top-5. Halep said, “It was tough after spending 5-6 years in the Top-5. I felt it this year.

It’s disheartening to train for weeks on end, days on end, hours on end (and) then get there and lose on the first leg, after your game was perfect in practice.” 

“Feel like the sky’s crashed down on you”: Simona Halep

“I don’t know what to say. You feel like the sky’s crashed down on you, that all your chances are gone.

That there’s no reason for you to work anymore, after all the work you’ve put in. You have all these thoughts,” Halep revealed.

She also said that there was a phase in her career when she felt like being far and away from tennis courts.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – October 2, 2020 Romania’s Simona Halep celebrates winning her third round match against Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

“Was feeling powerless”: Halep

The two-time Grand Slam Champion said, “There was this period when I was playing so badly that I said to myself, ‘The only thing I would want right now is to go out. Run off the court.” 

 

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A post shared by Simona Halep (@simonahalep)

“The match was really shameful. I was feeling powerless, like I don’t like what I’m doing. I really felt my place was not on the court then.

First of all, I’m ashamed of myself. I wouldn’t think about what people will say. I’m ashamed of myself and for my team. We work together, we’re on court every day, we race our hearts out,” said Halep.

Fine line between positive and negative, says Halep

The Romanian tennis star further revealed, “Everyone gets stressed out in their own ways. And I go out on the court and can’t do what I’m supposed to be doing. That’s why I’m ashamed of them and myself too.” 

 

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A post shared by Simona Halep (@simonahalep)

Speaking from her experiences in matches on the demanding professional circuit, Halep said players don’t often realize how and when the momentum shifts and it only takes a few points either way for emotions to change on court.

“You can win an important point and instantly be in seventh heaven. And then you miss a point and collapse.” 

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“There’s a very fine line to cross, from positive to negative. And if you fall down the negative side, you really drop,” Halep said.

An injury kept Halep on the sidelines for an extended spell, and she’d be hungry to add to her French Open and Wimbledon titles as she heads into the new season.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

976 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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