By Ros Satar
- Five reasons why Simona Halep will win Roland Garros
PARIS, FRANCE – Highest seed standing, and 2014 Finalist Simona Halep gets a second crack at the title, her first Grand Slam title, and the World No. 1 spot when she faces Jelena Ostapenko in the final.
Experience is everything
At least that’s what Simona Halep will hope will be the case. In 2013 she broke her titles duck in spectacular style winning her first six titles all in one year, backing it up ably with a run to the French Open final, and making the season-ending final to boot.
Halep can play the big occasions – she successfully defended her Madrid title this year and except for a torn ankle ligament in the Rome final – she could have made it two in a row.
She is the in-form player, and she knows just what to expect in a Grand Slam final, and that makes a huge difference, The Latvian, who only just 20 on the day of her semi-final may be feisty, but there is every chance that the occasion will be a little too much.
Played herself into form
She was the out and out favourite right up until a catch of her ankle on a rogue clump of clay tore an ankle ligament and seriously put her participation at Roland Garros in real jeopardy. But once she took to the court she was unstoppable. She only dropped sets in the quarter-final against Rome champion Elina Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova – she has lifted her game when she has needed to.
She will run everything down
Aggressive, compact, she can do everything that Ostapenko does, added with a scramblers talent to get every ball back. Her movement is back, and it is an intrinsic part of her game so while Ostapenko was able to out-last great defensive players like Caroline Wozniacki but Halep will chase everything down.
Ostapenko will swing freely – she has everything to gain but once the nerves settle down for Halep, she will take control of the match.
In her pre-final press conference, Halep admitted that last time, she had a huge entourage following her every move.
She said: “Today I’m just living the day, and we will see what is going to be happen tomorrow. I’m not thinking about anything else.
“Three years ago it was, like, 50 people around me, my family, friends, everyone. So now I will stay with my team, same routine, same things, and I just want to get ready for tomorrow.
“I’m not thinking that is the final. I’m thinking just that it’s a normal match. But of course, I take the pressure because I like it.”
Halep has the attitude for this
It has been a bit of a voyage of discovery for Halep. After her meltdown in the Miami quarter-final, Darren Cahill temporarily left her to sort out her head. She admitted that she had felt ashamed of her attitude when her clay season started in Stuttgart, and she has bounded forward in leaps and strides.
She won the Madrid title for a second time and was coasting through Rome, and has been focussed and on-point.
Roland Garros will crown a new champion on Saturday – and that will be Halep.
Ostapenko & Halep will play for the Roland Garros title on Saturday at 3pm (2pm BST).
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