Halep fights back to clinch French Open title

Halep fights back to clinch French Open title

Halep fights back to clinch French Open title

Two French Open finals and one Australian Open final have been the closest she's come to claiming one of the four biggest prizes on the tennis calendar, and despite many thinking Serena Williams dominates the sport, there had been a different victor of all of the last six women's Grand Slam's before the latest French Open.

The American, who will break into the top five for the first time when the new rankings are released on Monday, broke Halep in the fourth game before taking the first set after 41 minutes.

Halep thought she had found a chink in the Stephens armour when the American served at 5-3 30-30 - a huge roar from the crowd erupting as she won a drop shot duel near the net.

The night before the final, Daren Cahill, her coach of three years, told her, it was her moment to claim. Did the quality of Stephens' tennis actually help Halep to play more aggressively?

Halep's win was one of the most popular for many years at Roland Garros and at times during the match the support for the 26-year-old was deafening.

Halep produced not one, but two fantastic returns at the net to seal the game, eventually being the victor of the final set 6-1 to take home the trophy and 1.12 million euro prize money.

"In the last game I felt like I could not breathe anymore", said Halep. Three years later, French woman Marion Bartoli, an inch taller, claimed the Wimbledon crown.

"Of course", she said, when asked if her victory was also for the "little people".

Already a victor of 16 WTA titles before arriving in Paris, Halep had undoubtedly been one of the world's best players for the last few years, and several of her fellow pros were quick to congratulate her latest achievement.

A crunching Halep backhand at 30-30 in the ninth game proved too much for Stephens as Halep crucially held and in the next game Stephens put a tired backhand wide to lose the set. "If you don't give up, you can do anything".

By beating Spain's former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza in the semi-finals she guaranteed that she extended her stay as the world's number one player - a position she has held now for 32 weeks in total.

"I wanted (the first Grand Slam title) to also be the same one".

"In the last game I felt I can not breathe any more. It's my favorite city, romantic city", she said.

U.S. Open champion Stephens out-fought Halep to take the opening set and was a break up in the second but the world number one wound her way back into contention before running away with the deciding set. "I believed in that".

"For all the haters who said she'll never win a Slam because she's mentally weak, go choke on that", tweeted Germany's Andrea Petkovic.

Halep's French title arrived in the 32nd Grand Slam of her career.

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