Simona Halep raised the winner’s trophy at Roland Garros to claim her first ever grand slam victory. Having been in the finals of major tournaments three times prior, this was the first win for the women’s world number one tennis player. After an initial hiccup, Halep defeated Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in their finals clash yesterday.
The match started out with a solid showing from both players, their solid defences attested to with a very long volley that eventually concluded in Halep winning her first service game. However, Stephens seemed to be in no mood to simply be a willing opponent, showing a superior set of skills and sense of the game as she moved into a comfortable lead up 4-1 in the first set. As the crowd watched, it appeared that Halep was once again caught up in the demons of her three earlier finals’ appearances, a point almost brought home when she found herself losing the first set and being two game down in the second.
It was at this point that things seemed to change for both players. Stephens seemed to be running out of steam, and her high-impact game gave out a little bit, extending the opportunity to Halep to regain control of the match. This Halep did with ease, coming back to take the second set 6-4. From this point onward, Halep asserted her dominance on the match, and when her name was chanted by the eager crowd as she served for the match 5-1 up in the third set, she was apparently triumphant in battling any demons that might have been plaguing her earlier, winning the game, set and match, and creating a memory that she would cherish for the rest of her life.