Simona Halep lost the 2017 Roland Garros final to Jelena Ostapenko
Simona Halep recently spoke about her mental struggles on her journey to a maiden Grand Slam title at the 2018 French Open.
In a segment for Top Court, an online tennis training program, Halep opened up about her struggles. She talked about how she remained steadfast towards her goal of becoming a Major champion despite faltering three times at the final hurdle.
Having lost the final against Maria Sharapova in 2014, the Romanian was handed another shot at the championship at Roland Garros in 2017. However, an astonishing comeback from the unseeded Jelena Ostapenko from 6-3, 3-0 down denied Halep the win once again.
During the segment, the Romanian revealed that she continued to feel the ripples of the defeat several months after the final. The aftermath was “depressing,” and she would often wake up from sleep in tears. Nevertheless, the former World No. 1 was determined to continue working hard and hit the practice courts soon after.
“Before winning my first Grand Slam, I lost another final at the French Open. I was leading the match, it was the most depressing moment for me, for three months I couldn’t be happy. I couldn’t enjoy anymore because sometimes during sleep I would wake up crying. I knew I had the chance in my hands. I was 6-3, 3-0 up and I lost the match. But I knew that I had to keep working. I didn’t give up practice the next day. I went on court and I was working hard.”
The 30-year-old finished runner-up in the final of the 2018 Australian Open after a three-set battle against Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki. Halep, however, derived plenty of positives from the match and thus strengthened her belief in her potential to win a Major crown.
The World No. 20 continued:
“Then I lost another final in January but I was very close. I played very well so it was not about my game. It was not about me because of which I lost the match. The opponent was little bit better in the end, more powerful. And then I really believed that the day will come and I just kept working. The next Grand Slam I played I won it.”
A spirited run to a third final at Roland Garros later that year culminated in the fulfillment of a childhood dream for the Romanian. She eventually beat USA’s Sloane Stephens in three sets to clinch her first Grand Slam title.
A second Major trophy followed a year later at Wimbledon, when she triumphed over Serena Williams in the championship match.
Simona Halep to return to action at the 2022 Madrid Open
Simona Halep at the 2022 BNP Paribas Open
Simona Halep last took to the court at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells last month, where she lost to eventual champion Iga Swiatek in the semifinals. A thigh injury, however, forced her to withdraw from the subsequent WTA 1000 event in Miami. She has since been recuperating and is slated to kickstart her claycourt season at the Madrid Open, which begins April 28.
Accompanying her to the Spanish city later this month will be renowned tennis coach Patrick Mouratoglou. Mouratoglou, the long-time coach of Serena Williams, was given the green signal to venture out with other players with Williams currently on an injury-induced hiatus.