Simona Halep confirmed her place as world’s women’s number one tennis player when she came from a set down to beat Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to win the French Open at Roland Garros on Saturday.
The Romanian who had never won a Grand Slam tournament despite her growing profile had been forced to fight doggedly to regain control after losing the first set to an American rival she had bested five out of seven meetings across all competitions since 2012.
Halep had taken a giant step towards winning her first major on clay after storming past former champion, Garbine Muguruza in straight sets of 6-1, 6-4 to book a place in the final She had also earlier brushed aside Angelique Kerber, 6-1(2-7) 6-3, 6-2 in the round of 16 to reach the semis on Wednesday.
Tenth-seeded Stephens ,25, who had also had a fine run to the finals, courtesy of her win over fellow American, Madison Keys, whom she beat to win the U.S Open in 2017, would eventually prove to be no match for her perennial conqueror, Halep as the going got too tough for her in the later stages.
The win is now certain to keep Halep on top of women’s tennis as the WTA releases its rankings next week.