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Sport Halep hoping to be fourth-time lucky

06:50  09 june  2018
06:50  09 june  2018 Source:   reuters.com

Halep survives early scare to dispatch Riske

  Halep survives early scare to dispatch Riske Alison Riske threatened a French Open upset on Wednesday but Simona Halep turned her fortunes around to book her place in round two.Simona Halep produced a 'Jekyll and Hyde' performance in her opening match at the French Open as she battled back to dispatch Alison Riske 2-6 6-1 6-1 on Wednesday.

But no one has come as frustratingly close to being World No 1 as Halep has this year. Her loss to No. 3 Garbine Muguruza at the Cincinnati final marked the third time this year that she failed to win with the top ranking on the line.

“I’m happy to be in the final for the fourth time here. So I guess I hope this one will be better than the other one. It would give me a bit more confidence for the rest of the year. You know, I am very happy and very lucky , obviously.

a person swinging a racket at a ball: French Open - Roland Garros © REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes French Open - Roland Garros

World number one Simona Halep gets a fourth chance to finally win a Grand Slam title when she starts as favourite in the French Open final against American Sloane Stephens on Saturday.

The 26-year-old has pedigree on clay, knows what it feels like to step out on Court Philippe Chatrier to contest the title match and holds a 5-2 winning record over Stephens.

She is also playing arguably the best tennis of her career.

There is one major sticking point though, Halep has always fallen just short when the big prizes have been tantalisingly within reach -- twice in the French Open final and also in this year's Australian Open final.

Halep breezes past Townsend

  Halep breezes past Townsend Two matches in as many days was no problem for Simona Halep, who was far too good for Taylor Townsend.World number one Simona Halep eased into the third round of the French Open with an emphatic straight-sets victory over Taylor Townsend.

3 - times Halep has lost in a Grand Slam final. She'll be hoping to make it fourth time lucky on Saturday. 74 - unforced errors made by Marin Cilic in his quarter-final exit. 41 - Madison Keys's tally of unforced errors in her one-sided loss to Stephens.

Halep : Maybe I'll be fourth time lucky .Simona Halep pointed to fatigue as the reason for her third loss in Grand Slam finals as Caroline Wozniacki was

Tenth seed Stephens, the first American not called Williams to reach the Roland Garros final since Jennifer Capriati in 2001, by contrast has a perfect record in Grand Slam finals having beaten friend Madison Keys to win last year's U.S. Open.

Halep vows to play for global fanbase in French Open final: Video provided by Perform


Romanian Halep's best chance came last year when she was a set and 3-0 ahead against unseeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, only to suffer a heartbreaking defeat.

In Australia in January she ran out of gas on a steamy Melbourne night against Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki but after a relatively comfortable passage through the Paris draw, she will be firing on all cylinders this time.

Halep books fourth-round spot with battling victory over Petkovic

  Halep books fourth-round spot with battling victory over Petkovic World number one Simona Halep has not had an easy start to the French Open but she is through to round four after beating Andrea Petkovic.Simona Halep completed a battling opening week at the French Open with a 7-5 6-0 victory over Andrea Petkovic, securing the top seed's place in round four.

Numbers up. 9 - years since Del Potro last reached the semi-finals. 3 - times Halep has lost in a Grand Slam final. She'll be hoping to make it fourth time lucky on Saturday. 74 - unforced errors made by Marin Cilic in his quarter-final exit.

I was lucky ." The Romanian is full of confidence after her dominant victory in Shenzhen, but will need to I can say I started the year better. I am more relaxed. I'm enjoying more the time on court." "I heard that she's a very talented player and young. So is going to be a big challenge," said Halep .

While the match is a huge occasion for Stephens, seven-times French Open champion Chris Evert believes Halep needs it more.

"I think tomorrow is a bigger moment for Simona Halep than it is for Sloane Stephens," Evert, a Eurosport analyst, said on Friday. "Simona has had three crushing losses in the finals, she is still searching for the elusive Grand Sam title.

"To me, it is really going to depend on who's the most fearless and who's going to come out the box and play more aggressive tennis. To me, that's the deciding factor."

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 07: Simona Halep of Romania celebrates her victory against Garbine Muguruza (not seen) of Spain during their semi final match at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, France on June 07, 2018. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) © Getty PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 07: Simona Halep of Romania celebrates her victory against Garbine Muguruza (not seen) of Spain during their semi final match at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, France on June 07, 2018. (Photo by Mustafa Yalcin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

A year ago Stephens, 25, could hardly have imagined contesting Grand Slam finals -- let alone having won one already by the time she turned up in Paris this year.

Imperious Halep marches into last eight

  Imperious Halep marches into last eight World number one Simona Halep lost just three games in a clinical demolition of Elise Mertens to reach the last eight at a canter.Simona Halep marched into the quarter-finals of the French Open with an emphatic victory over Elise Mertens.

Numbers up. 9 - years since Del Potro last reached the semi-finals. 3 - times Halep has lost in a Grand Slam final. She'll be hoping to make it fourth time lucky on Saturday. 74 - unforced errors made by Marin Cilic in his quarter-final exit.

Numbers up. 9 - years since Del Potro last reached the semi-finals. 3 - times Halep has lost in a Grand Slam final. She'll be hoping to make it fourth time lucky on Saturday. 74 - unforced errors made by Marin Cilic in his quarter-final exit.

After the 2016 Rio Olympics she spent nearly a year sidelined with a foot injury and did not play at last year's French Open. As comebacks go, it has been remarkable.

"Obviously a lot of hard work went into it, a lot of adversity, a lot of ups and downs," she said. "A lot of emotions, like 'am I ever going to be the same? Am I ever going to play good again at a high enough level?'"

Having known the frustration of time away from the court perhaps explains her almost trance-like calm in the heat of battle -- always appearing unruffled.

a person holding a racket on a court: French Open - Roland Garros © REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol French Open - Roland Garros

Halep is more emotive on court and her tenacity has earned her an army of fans. She will be the popular favourite on Saturday, if only for her sheer perseverance.

"Okay, let's make a deal. I will play for the fans from all over the world because I know that many are hoping me to win this Grand Slam finally," she said.

"I will put everything I have Saturday on the court. I will think that I will make many people happy. So maybe I will have enough power to win it."

Halep has attributes to become multiple major winner - Martinez .
Simona Halep finally landed a first major title in Paris and Conchita Martinez thinks there could be more to come.Conchita Martinez says Simona Halep has all the attributes to become a multiple grand-slam winner following her French Open triumph.

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