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

10 June 2018

But after falling behind an early break in the second set, Halep's tenacity and vigor, two of her great strengths as a player, turned the match around. Halep ended the match when Stephens returned a serve into the net. On the way to the final, Halep has beaten Elise Mertens, Angelique Kerber and Garbine Muguruza.

For the first time in a young career filled with both success and heartbreak, Simona Halep is a Grand Slam champion. "There's not as much, "Come ons" and things like that". "It's very hard. I think more when I do play Madi, it's just - on the court it's very competitive. So maybe I will have enough power to win it".

Clijsters, here in Paris as a television analyst, is among the many who offered encouragement to Halep over the past year as she tried to rebound from her latest Grand Slam disappointments. But I will be, I think, more confident, because I have a lot of experience. Am I ever going to play good again at a high enough level? "Let's talk outside. It's attractive weather".

A year ago on Court Philippe Chatrier, Halep led Jelena Ostapenko by a set and a break, only for the unseeded Latvian to mount an unlikely fightback and deal her a crushing defeat.

Halep assured herself of retaining the No. 1 ranking and reached her third final in Paris.

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"You guys are my biggest haters", she said Saturday.

The world number one had lost all three of her previous major finals, including two at Roland Garros, and said she struggled to contain her emotions after staging a thrilling comeback. She is the better overall player than Stephens, and clay just widens the margin.

Stephens's run to Saturday's final comes after a roller-coaster year since her US Open stunner.

After climbing up the stands, Pat Cash-style, to hug her Australian coach Darren Cahill, the 26-year-old Romanian said: "Honestly, I can't believe it".

In the first all-American Roland Garros semi-final since 2002, the 10th-seeded Stephens stayed composed throughout as Keys, who has not won a set against her in three meetings, peppered the court with unforced errors.

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What TV channel is it on?

Halep's status as one of the WTA Tour's most-liked players was proven as several of her rivals took to Twitter to reflect on the victory. She seems genuinely relaxed about her destiny, with the demons of the past exorcised. But she failed to convert any of those, and Halep held there, before breaking at love to end it.

The match flipped definitively when Halep won nine consecutive points in the second set.

Linda Ellis, Last Word on Tennis: "I am going with Sloane Stephens". Halep is a three-time runner-up at majors, including in Paris in 2014 and 2017.

But she climbed back into the top 100 with strong performances at lesser tournaments, then broke out at the U.S. Open.

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The 11th-seeded Schwartzman has never made it to the final four at any Grand Slam tournament.

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