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Halep wins 1st Grand Slam title at French Open

Simona Halep (ROU) made it in the fourth attempt! The 26-year-old wins the final of the French Open against Sloane Stephens (USA) with 3: 6, 6: 4 and 6: 2 and celebrates her first Grand Slam title.

Previously, the current number one player in the world had lost all of her three previous major final appearances (French Open 2014, 2017 and Australian Open 2018).

Halep is the second Romanian to triumph in Roland Garros. Forty years ago, Virginia Ruzici won, five years before Ilie Nastase was victorious in the men's competition in Paris.

Stephens makes a leap in the ranking despite the final defeat and will lead from Monday as the best American in fourth place.

Halep: "dreamed of this moment"
Just a year ago, Halep had received the trophy for second place with a tearful voice. At that time, she had lost against the Latvian teenager Yelena Ostapenko. Also last January, Halep had to let Caroline Wozniacki take the win in the final of the Australian Open.

In her third final in Roland Garros, the Romanian broke the spell after three previously lost Grand Slam finals. Halep was the first ranked player before the final, but she was one of those players without a major title on the tennis throne. She has now removed this curse.

Stephens, who won the US Open last September, was denied her seventh title.

"In the last game, I thought I could not breathe, just because I did not want to repeat the last year," Halep told the nearly 15,000 spectators. "I've been dreaming of this moment since I started playing tennis, I'm very happy that it happened in Roland Garros, Paris is my special city," said the second Romanian Grand Slam champion.

Halep turns the game
In contrast to the previous year, when she had given the big lead Halep tore the rudder this time. "When I had the break in the second set, I thought, 'relax and enjoy the match'," Halep revealed, who had seemed cramped.

Sloane Stephens, who will appear in the top 5 for the first time on Monday, took the defeat with composure. "This is not the trophy I wanted, but it's still beautiful, Simona, congratulations on your first Grand Slam, it looks good on you," said the American.

Stephens actually seemed clearly on course of her second Grand Slam victory. The 25-year-old American usually kept the upper hand in the first set in many long baseline duels and then earned a 6: 3 after 44 minutes. Stephens broke through first at the start of the second round and looked to have a smooth win. Halep was 0: 2 behind, but then could solve her noticeable cramping. Suddenly the Romanian took the lead 4: 2. Stephens, who went into the final with a 2-5 record against Halep, but managed the immediate rebreak and the equalizer to 4: 4. Halep persisted and managed to break even thanks to the help of a faulty Stephens to 6: 4 set compensation.

The downside of the American continued and Halep took over with the set win and went quickly with 5-0 in the lead. The victory was then no longer to take. How overdue this title was for Halep, also shows a look at the career prize money account of the Romanian: With the 2.2 million euros from Paris, she increased it to over 26 million dollars.

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