Feisty Halep to face chilled out Stephens in Paris

Sharapova and Muguruza

After the first set, it looked like Simona Halep's Grand Slam jinx was going to continue as she lost the set 6-3 to Sloane Stephens but she came storming back to take the next two, 6-4 6-0, winning her first Grand Slam at the fourth time of asking. "And when I lost the game, I said, "okay, I have four more until she gets back", Halep said.

Halep, 26, was a set and a break down against American 10th seed Sloane Stephens but won 3-6 6-4 6-1.

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. "I believed. And I never gave up".

Having come close in Australia and been unfortunate to lose to Caroline Wozniacki she was a popular victor, having avoided what would have been a crushing defeat. In the first set, as Stephens had dictated, Halep hit just four winners but made 10 unforced errors.

Romania's Simona Halep in action during the final against Sloane Stephens of the US, Roland Garros, Paris, France, June 9, 2018.

"I think the best thing that I have done these two weeks is that I stopped missing during the match." said the crowd favourite with a smile.

Simona Halep didn't need a major to validate her No. 1 ranking.

"Tennis is very situational", Stephens said previous year.

Perhaps her ability to always get through tough times on court comes from putting the importance of tennis into perspective. She had to grind for every point and I thought Sloane, you could see late in the second set, getting a little bit exhausted.

After consoling Stephens, she climbed into the stands to embrace Romania's former Olympic gymnastics champion Nadia Comaneci and 1978 Roland Garros victor Virginia Ruzici, the last Romanian to win a Grand Slam title. But whatever comes next, the spirit and elegance Halep showed in her victory on Saturday will define her for years to come.

More news: Marco Cecchinato stuns former champion Novak Djokovic at French Open

Simona Halep was emotional and happy after winning the French Open final over Sloane Stephens in three sets.

Halep is the Roland-Garros champion.

Muguruza's last stand came at 4-all in the second set, a 13-minute game in which she held three break points.

After Saturday, Halep joined Martina Navratilova (1978 Wimbledon) and Jelena Ostapenko (2017 French Open) as the only women in the Open era to win their first major title after coming from a set down to win in the title match.

"Thanks guys it was wonderful and I felt your support", Halep, who lost this year's Australian Open final to Caroline Wozniakci, said on court.

Halep, meanwhile, is 0-3 with a Grand Slam trophy at stake.

Her first win in the tour since NY arrived in February in Acapulco.

However, Halep, in her fourth Grand Slam final, was not to be denied, claiming the Suzanne Lenglen trophy on her 32nd appearance at a Grand Slam. "I think the first set I was a little bit tight in the beginning, and after I just enjoyed and relaxed".

Both Halep and Cahill thought Stephens looked a little gassed.

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