Simona Halep Defeats Sloane Stephens to Win Roland Garros for First Major Title
(June 9, 2018) World No. 1 Simona Halep has finally won her first major title in four tries. Halep became the first Romanian since 1978, Virginia Ruzici, her manager, to win a major title when she rallied from a set and break down to defeat US Open champion and 10th seed Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to claim the Roland Garros title on Saturday.
Halep came into the final at 0-3 in major finals, losing twice in French Open finals – last year’s extremely heart-breaking loss came after she was up a set and a break, losing to unseeded Jelena Ostapenko. She lost the Australian Open final to Caroline Wozniaki, after she won the first set. This year she reversed last year’s French Open plot.
In a match with momentum swings, Stephens moved out to a 6-3, 2-0 lead. Halep won the next four games and the American rebounded to even the set at 4-4. Halep broke serve in the tenth game to level the match. The third set was one-way traffic for Halep as she made Stephens run from side-to-side and Stephens’ error count rose dramatically.
“When I was a little girl I didn’t have the courage to dream for this moment, but when I started to think that I want to be a professional tennis player, when I was like 14-years-old, I was dreaming of this trophy,” Halep said.” Today it happened and I can’t believe yet.”
“To Simona, congratulations on your first Slam, it looks great on you,” Stephens said to Halep during the trophy ceremony. “No one else I’d rather lose to than the No. 1 in the world.”
“Not the trophy I wanted,” Stephens added, “but it’s still beautiful.”
“When I was down a break in the second set,” Halep said to the crowd, “I thought, ‘Everything is gone. I’m going to start to relax and enjoy the match.’”
“Well first of all thank you guys,” Halep said. “It was amazing and I felt your support. In the last game I felt I could not breathe any more. I honestly cannot believe it. I was dreaming for this moment since I started playing tennis.”
Good things come to those who wait. @Simona_Halep earns her maiden Major title 3-6 6-4 6-1 over Sloane Stephens.
32e participation à un tournoi du Grand Chelem et tout premier titre Majeur ici à Roland-Garros ! #RG18
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 9, 2018
More to follow…..