Simona Halep fought back from a set and a break down to finally achieve her “dream” of winning a Grand Slam title, beating Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in a gruelling Roland Garros final on 09 June 2018. The World No. 1 had lost all three of her previous major finals, including two at Roland Garros, and said she struggled to contain her emotions after staging a thrilling comeback.
It was the perfect way for the Romanian to banish the demons of her painful final defeat by Jelena Ostapenko 12 months ago, when she blew a lead of a set and 3-0. But it’s emotional to be making this speech as a winner. I’ve been dreaming of this since I was 14. US Open champion Stephens had looked set to lift a second Grand Slam trophy when leading 6-3, 2-0, but the American 10th seed wilted in the hot conditions and Halep pounced.
Halep had vocal support from the start on Court Philippe Chatrier, but Stephens was the better player in the baseline rallies and made an early breakthrough as two big forehands left the top seed scrambling. The early exchanges were brutal in the Paris heat, but it was the world number one who found herself being forced onto the defensive as Stephens moved 4-1 ahead.