Halep advances, more comfortable now

Simona Halep

FROM THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN – No. 1 Simon Halep, who won the 2018 French Open, began to get hurt during October, and she had to pull out for the rest of the year.

That was then,  this is now.

In the first round at the Australian Open, she beat Kaia Kanepi 6-7, 6-4, 6-2. Even though last year she was thrilled that she finally won a Grand Slam at the French Open, still, as she said, “There is nothing to lose,” because her health is not 100 percent — yet.

The Romanian won the Canadian Open, beating Sloane Stephens in the final. The next week, she reached the final in Cincinnati, finally losing against Kiki Bertens. She lost, but it is almost impossible to win two huge events, two weeks in a row, because it was in August and it was darn hot outside.
 
Her body began to struggle. She was sore, she was hurt, there was some pain. She began to struggle, losing in the first round of the US Open. In Beijing, she had to retire. She pulled out and she couldn’t play for the rest of the year.

It happens to everyone.

Gradually, in December, she began to practice and hit some balls. Slowly. Finally, was ready to play again.  

“I just took the risk coming late here, staying home more, because I wanted. I said that no expectations coming here,” Halep said. “Just giving my best to find the rhythm, which was a great level of tennis. I feel like I am one step forward.”

While Halep has won 18 titles, it took her 10 years to grab a major. She was close at the Grand Slams, but in the second weeks, she would back off. Last year in the Australian Open, in the final, she lost to Caro Wozniacki 6-4 in the third. Last June at Roland Garros, she finally achieved it, beating Stephens in the final.
 
Even though she wore down towards the end of the year, now Halep feels more comfort.

“We’re going to see in the future what is going to happen with me this year. But comfort, for sure,” she said. “I’m not putting pressure on myself any more with the results. But I’m still motivated. What it comes now, it’s a bonus. I still the things in that direction. I feel better.”

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