Thrilling fightback gives Halep first Grand Slam title

Thrilling fightback gives Halep first Grand Slam title

Backed by fans who loudly chanted her first name between games, Halep went ahead 3-0 against Muguruza in only 15 minutes with the help of only one victor.

Simona Halep, who is number one in the WTArankings, clinched her maiden Grand Slam title by beating 2017 USOpen champion Sloane Stephens in the French Open final in Paris on Saturday. Halep tends to fall apart in Grand Slam finals, so it will be interesting to see if she can get over the hurdle.

"Thanks guys it was fantastic and I felt your support", Halep, twice a runner-up in Paris before Saturday, told the crowd who were chanting her name.

"And then when I started to win games, I said that past year [against Ostapenko] it happened to me, same thing, I was set and a break up and I lost the match".

She did it the hard way, though, falling a set and a break behind to Stephens, who was hunting a second major title to add to her triumph at last year's US Open. After leveling the match at a set apiece, Halep looked sharper and more energetic in the first couple of games in the third set.

Seeing her opponents come back against her in grand slam finals, this time Simona Halep turned the tables.

Top seed Simona Halep reached her third French Open final by stopping hard-hitting Spaniard Garbine Muguruza in her tracks with a 6-1, 6-4 semifinal victory on Thursday.

Stevens netted a service return to bow out.

But just as the set was slipping away from Stephens, a series of unforced errors by Halep gifted the break back for 4-4.

Having changed her dress she came out fired up, and with Stephens's foot work becoming less neat she broke early, and then decisively again with a little help from the netcord, which seemed determined to help her to victory.

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But she was beaten by Stephens' brilliance, not herself, in the opening set.

Three narrow misses in Grand Slam finals - and her response to the setbacks - have endeared Halep to fans all around the world.

It is the 11th time the 32-year-old Spaniard has reached the French Open last four, becoming only the third man in history to achieve the feat at a single Grand Slam, alongside Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors.

"I was very strong mentally to finish that", she said.

"I was up against a great player so I had make sure I brought my best tennis". As Stephens looked airtight through a first-set win and a 2-0 lead in the second, and through a whole bale of long rallies causing appreciative applause, it looked like a reinforcement of Stephens's 2017 U.S. Open win, as well as the notion of Stephens as a top-five-caliber player.

"She just raised the level of her game and started playing better", said the 25-year-old Stephens, looking perfectly relaxed and not at all bitter after losing to the world number one.

Stephens faded after a bright start.

Down a set and a break in the second, Halep rose to the challenge and started moving the American around the court to the joy of an openly pro-Halep crowd at the Philippe-Chatrier Court. But whatever comes next, the spirit and elegance Halep showed in her victory on Saturday will define her for years to come.

Russian tennis player Elena Vesnina praises Halep.

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