French Open 2018: Simona Halep beats Sloane Stephens in final

French Open 2018: Simona Halep beats Sloane Stephens in final

Williams withdrew shortly before the match with a pectoral muscle injury, a moment Sharapova said she found briefly startling but not destabilizing. Halep also seems to be mentally strong, not allowing mistakes to leak into her game and pointing to her head after big points, knowing she has to stay focused.

Stephens, on the other hand, showed no signs of nerves in her one Grand Slam final win in NY previous year.

On a day of hot sun and high temperatures, Halep simply had too much for her opponent, particularly with points contested from the back of the court. Halep tends to fall apart in Grand Slam finals, so it will be interesting to see if she can get over the hurdle.

World No 1 Simona Halep claims she is under no pressure as she goes in search of an elusive first Grand Slam title at the French Open on Saturday.

To manage it, Halep had to come back from a set and a service break down, just as Jelena Ostapenko, her opponent in last year's French Open final, had done against her.

She endured an eight-match losing streak after leaving NY, going 0-6 for the rest of 2017 and then 0-2 to begin 2018, including a first-round loss at the Australian Open.

"It's Simona's third final in Roland Garros, she has a great level".

US Open champion Stephens had looked set to lift a second Grand Slam trophy when leading 6-3, 2-0, but the American 10th seed wilted in hot conditions and Halep pounced. "I'll come here Friday, have a hit, have lunch here, go to my room, watch TV, wait till dinner, have dinner, go to sleep".

75 killed, 192 missing after Guatemala’s volcano spews more ash & mudflows
After the eruption, people say they had to build an impromptu bridge over hot ashes to try and get the injured the help they need. The death toll locally on Wednesday morning was 75, though this was expected to be revised upwards during the day.

"It was very nice to play like that", Halep said. She's going to leave her as the No. 4 player in the world and she has no points to defend at Wimbledon.

But she feels confident: 'I have more experience now. I think Stephens has been too consistent throughout these two weeks.

When I was down a break in the second set I said: 'OK, everything is gone.

Simona Halep is coming off a straight sets win over Garbiñe Muguruza that took 17 games to decide. But I get closer to them, just asking who was it? Whereas Halep has an unenviable record at the sharp end of majors. "So maybe I will have enough power to win it".

Stephens, seeded 10th, used her powerful game to full effect to take the first set but then ran out of steam to allow Romania´s Halep to complete a memorable victory. "Looking at Madrid, Rome, I think that's always one of the toughest back-to-backs on the calendar, especially on a surface like clay".

"I don't want to think about that because, as I said many times, it's a different match, different situation".

Stephens continued to dominate and broke in the first and seventh games of the second set to put herself in a position to serve for the match.

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