“Bit Scared of Her Drop Shots”: Simona Halep Reveals Being Nervous Against Vondrousova at Stuttgart Opener

Published 04/23/2021, 5:22 AM EDT
Simona Halep of Romania reacts during her Women’s Singles fourth round match against Iga Swiatek of Poland on day eight of the 2020 French Open at Roland Garros on October 04, 2020 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)


Veteran Romanian tennis star Simona Halep blitzed past Czech opponent Marketa Vondrousova to open her WTA Stuttgart claycourt campaign with a resounding win.

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The 2019 French Open runner-up trailed in the shadows as the current women’s World No. 3 raced to a 6-1, 6-3 win, in ominous signs for her rivals in the European dirt leg.

Simona Halep says the win in Stuttgart opener shows her level on clay is up

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Sharing her thoughts on the match, Halep said that the emphatic win gave her the confidence that her claycourt game is where it needs to be, and if she can keep her level up, she could go deep in the tournament. “This match gives me confidence that my level is high. If I keep doing the same thing, I’ll be good,” the 29-year-old said.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France -Romania’s Simona Halep in action during her third round match against Amanda Anisimova of the U.S. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Vondrousova came into the match on the back of two straight wins over the two-time Grand Slam champion. One of those victories came on clay. Halep did concede that she was “scared” of her claycourt game going into the clash.

“I was a little bit nervous before the match because she’d beaten me every time. I was a little bit scared of her drop shots,” the Romanian said, adding that her coach Darren Cahill told her to be aggressive against her and the ploy worked.

Halep says she stuck to her game plan, and it worked

Halep added that after the match, her coach complimented her on her performance and also noted that he had seldom seen her play so aggressively.

“I played exactly how we’d talked about playing before the match,” the 2018 French Open champion said.

However, the win only served to reaffirm her claycourt credentials and showed how she’s at home on the surface. Halep said that clay enables her to slide more without the fear of injuries as well as engage in longer rallies.

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“I have won many titles on this surface and I like the clay. I like to slide more, play longer points. Everything about clay, I like!” the 2019 Wimbledon champion said.

The Romanian emerged as the top-ranked player in the WTA claycourt power index this year, and the win on Thursday justified her standing on the surface.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

854 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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