Tactical change helps Halep reach French Open semis


Romania's Simona Halep kisses the trophy as she celebrates after winning the final against Sloane Stephens of the US, Roland Garros, Paris, France, June 9, 2018.

If Stephens holds her high ranking and can make her way to more Grand Slam finals this year and beyond, this sort of loss could prove beneficial to her long-term outlook.

"I don't want to think about that because, as I said many times, it's a different match, different situation. So maybe I will have enough power to win it".

Halep was my pick to win the French Open before the tournament, even though I picked against her in the Muguruza match. "I don't think she's satisfied, I'm not satisfied, but I do think it's a step in the right direction". Her semifinal victory over Venus Williams gave her a first career Grand Slam final. "Let's talk outside. It's lovely weather". It was a stark contrast to what Stephens was doing an hour prior, when she won 6-3 and then held a 2-0 advantage in the second set. Oh, and she gets to stay as world No.1, whatever happens. "It looks great on you", she said.

Rafael Nadal will be looking to avoid another slow start when he takes on Dominic Thiem in the Roland Garros final on Sunday, with the Spaniard's coach Carlos Moya assuring that they expect a tougher version of the opponent they faced in last year's semi-finals here in Paris.

Simona Halep takes on Sloane Stephens in the final. It was cruise control for the 10-time Roland Garros champion from then on.

However she looked exhausted in the fourth and Halep took advantage as she broke back and then backed that up with a hold to love.

That kind of inconsistency was never going to be enough to stop Stephens, who held on to an early break in the third game to serve out the first set - though Keys could consider herself unlucky after the forehand victor from Stephens on break point was later revealed to be long by Hawkeye.

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Halep also becomes the second Romanian woman to win a Grand Slam singles trophy.

"It's not going to be easy but he's facing Dominic, we know he's the only player that beat him on clay the last couple of years". She seems genuinely relaxed about her destiny, with the demons of the past exorcised. But in the end, she couldn't quite overcome Halep's excellence.

However, with nothing left to lose, Halep won eight straight points to move from 1-2 to 3-2.

Yesh Ginsburg, Last Word on Tennis: "What Halep did to Garbine Muguruza was not only unexpected, it was the most impressive performance we've seen from any tennis player this year". 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. A lot of emotion, wondering am I ever going to be the same?