Halep fights back to clinch maiden grand slam title

Halep fights back to clinch maiden grand slam title

It is Halep's first Grand Slam title after she lost twice in the French Open final and was runner-up at the Australian Open earlier this year.

Halep began slowly, unable to solve Stephens, the 10th-seeded American who won her first Grand Slam at last year's US Open. I will say this, though. I was dreaming of this moment since I was starting to play tennis.

Current US Open champion Stephens took control of the match by winning the opening set, but the turning point came in the middle of the second as Halep found her game and started to win points at the net.

Halep said afterewards: 'In the last game I felt that I could not grip [the racket] any more, so I just tried not to repeat the previous year. Honestly, I can not believe.

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.

Halep joins an elite club this year... So I did it well, and I was very strong mentally to finish that.' Is it more satisfaying to be No. Then at 30-30, Halep won two consecutive points to claim the second set. "See-moe-nah!" When the match ended, Halep dropped her racket at the baseline and covered her face with her hands.

Wimbledon next. but first a party and a holiday!

But also the French people were supporting me, so I thank to everyone, and it was an wonderful atmosphere.' Her feelings in the last games: 'I couldn't breathe very well in the last game at 5-0.

The match was at its best in the first set but was rarely less compelling as Halep completely justified her number one ranking.

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"Then you can open up some court from there, but you've got to be patient, you've got to hit your spots, if you leave the ball short, you're in trouble".

"Obviously a lot of hard work went into it, a lot of adversity, a lot of ups and downs".

"Can I just state for the record that all of you guys in here were tweeting that I had a losing record anywhere except for the United States. It looks great on you", she said.

In Australia in January she ran out of gas on a steamy Melbourne night against Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki but after a relatively comfortable passage through the Paris draw, she will be firing on all cylinders this time.

The 25-year-old, who was ranked 957 in the world less than a year ago after her injury woes, was using her bigger forehand to good effect as Halep struggled to make any inroads into her opponent's serve.

The fans at Roland Garros preceded the match with a standing ovation for seven-time Grand Slam champion Maria Bueno after the Brazilian's death on Friday aged 78.

Halep, who assured herself of retaining the No. 1 ranking with the victory, earned a fourth chance to win her first major title. "Both of us will be ready to give everything we have", she said. It's really nice to have so much energy. I competed the best I could, and the better player won the match.

A tense first game of the second set saw Stephens squander three break points before eventually claiming an advantage she quickly consolidated into a 2-0 lead.

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