War of Mystifying Words as Halep, Stephens Face Off in French Open Final
by Jeremy Davis | June 7th, 2018, 9:58 pm
  • 73 Comments

Sloane Stephens beat fellow American Madison Keys 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday in a repeat of the US Open final. Now she will try and win a second Grand Slam title in the last three Slams at the French Open.


In the final Stephens will meet world No. 1 Simona Halep, who is still looking for her first Grand Slam title after defeating Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 6-4 in her semifinal.

“I’m really happy that I could beat a player like Muguruza,” said Halep, who with the win hung on to the No. 1 ranking, one match after the Spaniard easily powered Maria Sharapova off the court in their quarterfinal. “She’s a great opponent, a great player, and it’s always tough against her. I think I played very well, and even if I repeat it, I played the best match here. So every day I play better and that makes me happy.”

Halep had lost three of her last four meetings with Muguruza.

Stephens, who looked lost after the US Open, at one time losing eight tournaments in a row, has completed a remarkable turn-around during the fortnight in Paris.

“Obviously after the US Open, I was just starting my comeback, so I had only played like four tournaments, five tournaments,” Stephens told press afterwards. “I was just kind of getting back in the groove of things. And I think life came at me fast after the US Open and just kind of regrouping and getting myself together, which I did well, and I started playing better and better.”

Stephens is now 3-0 career against Keys, who nonetheless had her best result on her worst surface.

“It’s never easy playing someone from your country, let alone someone you actually care about and you’re friends with,” Stephens said. “It’s very difficult. I think more when I do play Madi. We are always very competitive. But it’s a little weird. There’s not as much, ‘Come ons’ and things like that. We have a lot of respect for each other. It’s a little different in that aspect. But I think we always compete well and play good matches.”

Halep leads Stephens 5-2 in their career head-to-head, including winning both meetings on clay.

“I know that she’s strong opponent,” Halep said. “She’s hitting the ball. I will be similar to today. I will play my game against her, as I did last year. It’s clay. It’s different. It’s different match, different year. So I expect nothing. I just want to go there and try to keep my tactic and keep my positive things every second. I will focus on myself, like I did every match here.”

So to summarize: Stephens is strong, she hits the ball, and it’s a match on clay.

While Halep focuses on herself, Stephens will focus on denying the Romanian a first Grand Slam title, and establishing herself as a threat on all surfaces.


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73 Comments for War of Mystifying Words as Halep, Stephens Face Off in French Open Final

gonzalowski Says:

Jeremy good summary indeed 😊


Willow Says:

Lovely picture of Simona, what beautiful legs ….


skeezer Says:

“So to summarize: Stephens is strong, she hits the ball, and it’s a match on clay.”
Lol Jeremy!


Van Persie Says:

Funny summarize indeed. Simona is just not great with the wording. She only likes to hit balls :)
Also, hope she will not play like last year :D


Willow Says:

Hope Simona wins ….


Frank frankovich Says:

I like both players, but will root for the little Romanian cause my wife ‘s gramma came from Romania


Frank frankovich Says:

I like both players, but will root for the little Romanian cause my wife ‘s gramma came from Romania


RZ Says:

I don’t get the title for this post. What mystifying words?


Truthsquad Says:

The writers on this site often highlight or over dramatize the women’s matches.”War of mystifying words?” Please…

Some sports writers are just sloppy and sexist. They analyze men’s matches based on their styles and game plans, but when it comes to the women, they often choose to focus on personality and rivalries – even if their non-existent.


Margot Says:

Wow! Sloane playing out of this world at the mo. Simona needs to pull something special out of the hat, or she’s going to be the bridesmaid yet again.


Giles Says:

Why don’t you shriek a bit louder Halep?? 😡😡😡😡
Go Sloane!


FedExpress Says:

Halep is the female version of Andy Murray.

Lost the first set.

Lost 6 of the last 7 finals she contested in. Wont be different today I feel.


Margot Says:

Sloane takes the first set! What can Simona do against this power, accuraccy and speed?
Not gonna out hit her, she needs to come forward, but will she?
Terrific high quality match so far.


Anto Says:

If Halep needs to win this match.she need to play her best. Right now she is not even close


FedExpress Says:

Halep is the defintion of a choker in big moments. Sloane the opposite.


Anto Says:

It’s mostly because Sloane is able to anticipate most of her shots.


RZ Says:

Infeel.like


Anto Says:

Also she is missing a lot of simple shots.


FedExpress Says:

Sloane breaks.

On her racquet this championship.


RZ Says:

I feel like Halep is playing so well and yet losing.

By the way, did she grunt so much in previous years or is this something new?


Anto Says:

Well it looks like she has to be content with being a runner up again. The sad part is she really do have the game to beat Sloane. It’s true it’s not easy, infact its pretty hard when she is playing like this. But still if Simona can play her best tennis. She should be able to win this match.


Anto Says:

May be I am demanding too much from Simona.


Margot Says:

Needs to come forward, only way.
Bartoli just said Sloane is playing the “best tennis” she’s ever seen her play. Poor Simona :(


RZ Says:

That was a loose game by Sloane


Margot Says:

Sloane’s level has dropped, let’s see what Simona can do. Bartoli suggesting Simona is fitter of two.


FedExpress Says:

Break Halep

4-2


Daniel Says:

Sloane level’s drop a bit, she wasn’t missing anything and hitting close to the baseline most of the time waiting the right time to hit a more attacking shot. Simone also clean her act and start being more aggressive. Hope it will go to a third. Overall they are both at a high level.


Anto Says:

Go Simona.


Anto Says:

Once Simona is in the lead, she starts making these silly mistakes


FedExpress Says:

Sloane broke back


Margot Says:

Oh dear, has Simona just messed up a golden opportunity? Couldn’t capitalise, dropped her serve.


FedExpress Says:

2nd set halep

Sloane got tight in the end.


Margot Says:

No, wrong! Second set Simona! What a terrific match.


Anto Says:

@fe, you mean choked?


FedExpress Says:

yeah anto.


Anto Says:

The sad part is Simona can still lose this match. I just hope Simona can play without much unforced errors. At least during the important points


Anto Says:

Well she started with an unforced error


Anto Says:

Oh please Simona don’t get broken in the very first game


AndyMira Says:

C’mon Sim!!..U can do it!!


FedExpress Says:

Break Halep.


Anto Says:

The more unforced errors Sloane is gonna make the more comfortable Simona is gonna get.


Anto Says:

Now please don’t get broken right away


Margot Says:

3-0 to Simona. Now keep focused and aggressive.


FedExpress Says:

Double break Halep

surely she wont lose from this position?


Anto Says:

Yay double break


Margot Says:

Fabulous play from Simona. Whatever she touches turns to gold. 5-0


Giles Says:

Sloane gave up a long time ago!


Giles Says:

Cahill is probably looking forward to a big “ hug”. Lol


Anto Says:

Now the moment of truth. Can she hold her nerve? If she gets broken now. It won’t be a good thing


Anto Says:

The first ace for Simona


skeezer Says:

Sloane lost her legs, or Halep took them away from her. Either way that was the difference here.


Anto Says:

Match point Simona


Anto Says:

Yay she did it


Margot Says:

S I M O N A! A GS champ at last and what a way to win it!


FedExpress Says:

Sloane choked.

Up a set and a break.


Anto Says:

I am really really happy. To be honest I cannot be more happy tomorrow even if Nadal wins the tomorrow


Daniel Says:

So happy for her, what a relief. Many more to come!

FE, a break up on clay in WTA is nothing.


AndyMira Says:

WOOOHOOOO!!!….SIMONA SLAM AT LAST!!!…YEAAAHHHH!!


Tennis fan Says:

Way to go SIMONA HALEEEP! What a fighter ! well deserved victory. It was destined to happen after so many heartbreaks. Hard luck for Sloane but she played awesome through out the tournament.
Simona champion Halep.


Anto Says:

Now I wanted her to defend her title the next year.


Margot Says:

Please stop with the snark about choking. It was a terrific match. Sloane played lights out for a set and a bit, but Simona snatched victory from the jaws of defeat a got the monkey off her back. Enough.


Willow Says:

YAY Congrats Simona ….


Margot Says:

Lovely speech from Sloane. Love her too, she’s brilliant. Lol Martina, it wasn’t a “monkey” on Simona’s back, it was “an 800lb gorilla!”


Colin Says:

OK, second try to see if I can remember my login address. Here goes…


Colin Says:

Whee! I did it.

I have always followed Halep’s career with interest, having visited Romania (a LONG time ago. in 1973)and being fond of Romananian classical music. It seems a long time ago, too, that weirdos were complaining online about her having the breast reduction surgery. As she said, all that weight was giving her backache, and she’d have had the surgery even if she didn’t play tennis,

Now I can focus my attention on Andy, hoping he can recover from the hip problems. I must admit it seems unlikely, with
Queens Club only weeks away.


RZ Says:

Well done Simona. Very much deserved!


Okiegal Says:

Great win for Simona! So glad for her to get her first slam. She is in much better shape than Sloane…….the difference Iin the match, I believe. She better get busy on the stamina part of her game. Halep looked fantastic the final two sets…..wow……chasing down everything. Super duper match! Congratulations to all of her TX fans….. she made y’all proud today! I love to watch her play…… especially when she keeps her head on straight! They each have a slam….. great job ladies!!


Van Persie Says:

She hit the ball. It’s clay. It’s different…Halep won :)


Van Persie Says:

Was a good match from both ladies


Willow Says:

Good to see you Colin missed your posts ;-)


Van Persie Says:

Okie, thank you for the congrats:)

Simona watched yesterday a bit of Rafa’s match. Saw this on TV. I am sure, she got some inspiration also from that


Okiegal Says:

@VP……You are so welcome……she deserved it…..she fought with all her might…..just like Rafa!! You may be right……Rafa inspiration!! 💪💪


jalep Says:

In case there was anyone who missed the Final (like me) – Highlights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBc_XRYzZy4

She finally did it! I just love Simona 🤗
But I am glad I wasn’t watching it LIVE. It really appeared Sloane would win. Gosh – Simona held on and got that 2nd set and closed it out in the end. Not that I dislike Sloane – I quite like her tennis. It’s just I been a Simona fan a long time and it’s such a satisfying accomplishment – getting that hard-earned GS title.

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