Sensational Simona Halep hits back to win first Grand Slam in style
Simona Halep v Sloane Stephens 3-6 6-4 6-1

Sensational Simona Halep hits back to win first Grand Slam in style

10/06/2018

Simona Halep finally lifted a maiden Grand Slam title after she beat Sloane Stephens 3-6 6-4 6-1 to win the French Open.

The 26-year-old Romanian had to fight back from a set and a break down to beat Stephens in two hours and four minutes in an enthralling encounter on Philippe Chatrier.

Halep, previously a French Open finalist in 2014 and 2017, began tentatively, surrendering her serve in the fourth game of the first set.

However, the world number one settled as the set wore on but, despite her improved level, was unable to force a break back, allowing the American to take the first set in 42 minutes.

The second set was more of a seesaw affair, with five breaks of serve – three for Halep and two for the US Open champion – sending the final to a decider.

With momentum behind her, Halep raced into a five-game lead, but, Stephens, facing the ignominy of a third-set bagel, managed to get on the board in the sixth game.

However, Halep, in her fourth Grand Slam final, was not to be denied, claiming the Suzanne Lenglen trophy at her 32 Grand Slam.

"Thanks guys it was amazing and I felt your support," Halep told the crowd who were chanting her name.

"In the last game I couldn't breathe, I just didn't want to repeat what happened the other years. I dreamed of this moment since I started to play tennis and I can't believe it."

Halep becomes the first Romanian to win a Grand Slam since Virginia Ruzici beat Mima Jausovec in the French Open back in 1978.

"Congratulations to Simona. There is no-one else I'd rather lose to than the number one in the world," a gracious Stephens, who will rise to four in the rankings, said.

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