Simona Halep's long wait for a grand slam title is over after she won a thrilling French Open final against Sloane Stephens. Sloane was hurting Simona in the first set. "All of a sudden, you look up, and it's 2-2 again, and you're down 3-2, and the calmness sort of left. There's no one I'd rather lose to than the No.1 in the world so congratulations to you and your team".
"Her journey has been tough and she had a heartbreak here a year ago and in Australia and all the things that have happened to her", Stephens said. I just tried not to repeat the previous year [Halep lost the 2017 French Open final]. So, if you are on a move, you can catch the action unfold between Simona Halep vs Sloane Stephens.
"I just try to go day to day, take it moment by moment", said Stephens, who has a ideal 6-0 record in finals.
"She was very strong on court and when I was down a break in the second set I said, "Okay, everything is gone, I have just start [sic] to relax and to enjoy the match ... and I came back".
A hold to love meant Halep had taken eight unanswered points, and another break followed as Stephens' levels dipped for the first time in the match.
However, even after she fell behind by a break in the second set, it did not appear that any doubt had crept into her mind.
"After not playing for 11 months, it's some great results", said Stephens, who also won the Miami Open title earlier this year.
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The result was redemption for Halep who had twice lost the final in Paris - in 2014 and past year when Jelena Ostapenko staged her own comeback.
Stephens will give it her best shot but Halep is the favorite for a reason.
Out of nowhere, though, Stephens responded with a four-point break of her own to get back to 4-3, and eventually 4-4. She would right the ship, however, winning three straight games from down 4-2 and breaking Muguruza in the 10th game to seal the victory. A forehand attack gave Halep a set point in the next game and Stephens fired a backhand wide. Moments after the match-winning point, she covered her face with her hands in a combination of disbelief and relief.
Romania's Simona Halep in action during the final against Sloane Stephens of the US, Roland Garros, Paris, France, June 9, 2018.
Coming into the final, she was determined.
For that, she can call herself a first-time Grand Slam champion.
Sloane Stephens of the U.S. returns the ball to Madison Keys the United States during their women´s singles semi-final match on day twelve of The Roland Garros 2018.
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There couldn't have been a more popular champion as the tennis world celebrated nearly more than Halep did.
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In the first all-American women's semi-final in Paris since 2002, the 10th seeded Stephens broke in the third game of the opening set. 'It's an wonderful moment', the World No. 1 said. "I think that we'll just have to go out and compete". She wanted so much to finally win a Grand Slam title and was sure that, one day, she would.
The 26-year old is clearly a popular figure on the women's tour, and a host of names took to social media to congratulate her on her success, including Britain's shining light Johanna Konta.
Halep raced into a 5-0 lead in the first set against misfiring 2016 champion Muguruza who had blasted Maria Sharapova off court on Wednesday for the loss of just three games. Halep also was the runner-up at the Australian Open this January. "Because being number one without a Grand Slam, I always said, is not like everything, not 100 percent", Halep said.
The player who was up a set and 3-0 in the second in last year's final at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament was now the one able to dismiss a deficit.
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But a first major title had eluded her until now, and she said she "could not breathe" as she closed in on it.