Turning heartbreak into a happy ever after, Simona Halep finally wins her first Grand Slam title at the French Open

By Eric Nicole Salta | Photo courtesy of Nike

It’s been a long time coming but current world number one Simona Halep of Romania can finally call herself a Grand Slam champion on her fourth try after she defeated 10th-seeded American Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the women’s singles final of the French Open.

Halep who has suffered heartbreaking losses in her previous Grand Slam finals—most notably on the very same stage last year when she choked against 20-year-old unseeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko after leading 6-4, 3-0—capped off a fairytale fortnight with her usual brand of resiliency.

Down a set and a break against the swinging American who also boasts of a clean 6-0 record in finals, Halep somehow managed to turn things around and found her range as he won long points and wore down her opponent. It must have felt like the monkey is finally off her back after her maiden major win. In January, she also lost in the final of the Australian Open to Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki.

On her way to the finals, Halep came back from a set down against German leftie and two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber in a dramatic three-set quarterfinal victory, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 before brushing aside 2016 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza of Spain, 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinals.

Halep is the first Romanian player to lift a Grand Slam trophy in 40 years since Virginia Ruzici, who now serves as her manager, won. 

And the tennis community is equally thrilled.