Romania's Halep Beats American Stephens to Take French Open Title
Jun 10 2018
Yes, Halep has shown an admirable self-awareness when it comes to her hitherto unsuccessful quest for a Slam.
Rafael Nadal has won 37 completed sets in a row at the French Open heading into his quarterfinal against Diego Schwartzman.
"I never gave up".
While Keys fired far more winners during the match - 25 to Stephens' eight - she also produced a whopping 39 unforced errors - 28 more than her opponent. "My head won it".
Stephens is a big fan of the Romanian and said: "She's a great player".
Meanwhile, the French Tennis Federation (FFT) on Thursday announced that it has named Brazilian tennis legend and three-time French Open victor Gustavo Kuerten as a Roland Garros ambassador.
"It's always hard playing someone from your country and such a good friend", Stephens said, "so I was really pleased to be able to get through that and play some good tennis". But it was a different story entirely as the second set went on.
The fifth-seeded Del Potro, whose career has been hampered by injuries, beat third-seeded Marin Cilic 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 Thursday. And her victory didn't lack for theatrics, as she looked dead set on a path to defeat after Stephens' hot start and yet left her opponent without any answers in a 6-1 closing set.
By contrast, Muguruza breezed past two-time Roland Garros champion Maria Sharapova in a ruthless victory. Prediction: "Stephens in three sets".
Sharapova certainly didn't do that.
Third time lucky for gutsy Halep?
She reeled off nine straight points to lead 3-2 on serve, then broke for 4-2.
"When you're writing an autobiography, I don't think there is any reason to write anything that's not true", said Sharapova.
She is one of two semi-finalists - alongside Garbine Muguruza - who are yet to drop a set this fortnight in Paris. Sharapova hasn't defeated Williams since 2004.
"Kind of a weird day", Muguruza said.
A nervous start from the Spaniard was immediately pounced upon by Halep for a break in the opening game.
Here's another key category in which Muguruza has the upper hand: 2-0 in major championships. The Romanian has proven she can muscle her way into a major final, but she has fallen short each time, including in last year's French Open final against Jelena Ostapenko.
Halep wasn't handed anything throughout the journey, and today was a fitting end. That includes the French Open in 2014 and 2017, and the Australian Open in January. She's going to leave her as the No. 4 player in the world and she has no points to defend at Wimbledon.
The American had worn out irreparably, and it was her turn to fall 2-0 down at the start of the deciding set. Like Sharapova, Halep was erratic early, making 30 unforced errors in the first set.
Furthermore, Halep leads the head to head series between the two players 5-2, and has taken their last four encounters. But I get closer to them, just asking who was it? I don't think you have to be mean in order to win matches.