Sloane Stephens vs No. 1 Simona Halep in French Open final

Halep has won all seven matches against left-handers this campaign

Down 3-6, 0-2 at one point in this weekend's 2018 French Open women's final, Halep looked nearly helpless against Stephens to start her anticipated match, as the American owned the first set, CBS Sports reported.

She had dropped the first set by a 6-3 margin, and it was clear that Stephens had a power advantage over her opponent.

"It's really hard to play against a great friend, but I am pleased to be in the final for the first time", said Stephens who will rise to four in the world thanks to her deepest run in the French capital.

So when, 12 months on, Halep found herself a set and a break down to Sloane Stephens and staring at a fourth grand slam final defeat, she made a decision to do something about it.

Caroline Wozniacki, Sloane Stephens, Garbine Muguruza, Jelena Ostapenko, Williams and Angelique Kerber have all tasted Slam success in the last few years whilst Halep has had to settle for second best on more than one occasion. Honestly, I could not believe. In one particularly dominant stretch, Halep won nine straight points.

Gutsy Stephens forced Halep to serve it out but, as yet another chorus of "Simona" rang around Court Philippe Chatrier from the vast Romanian contingent, she did just that. Halep tends to fall apart in Grand Slam finals, so it will be interesting to see if she can get over the hurdle.

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Simona Halep was so desperate to end her grand slam drought she could barely breathe as she served for the French Open.

Simona Halep has lifted the French Open trophy and says she "just tried not to repeat the same as a year ago". I was dreaming of this moment since I was starting to play tennis. She was the clear favourite previous year as well to beat Ostapenko and (somehow) managed to find a way to lose.

Stephens, moving silkily from side-to-side, out-Haleped Halep to move 4-1 in front, however, turning herself into a human backboard to return everything being thrown at her.

The match Saturday is the 26-year-old Halep's fourth major final. His final season came just months after Sloane was born.

Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens meet in the final of the 2018 tennis French Open.

Halep began as poorly as could be, falling into a 5-0 hole in the first set of her first-round match against Alison Riske of the US, before coming back to win.

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She yearned for a Grand Slam title to go with her WTA ranking.

However, even after she fell behind by a break in the second set, it did not appear that any doubt had crept into her mind. I will think that I will make many people happy.

She won the U.S. Open last September for her first major title.

"She was very strong on court and when I was down a break in the second set I said, "Okay, everything is gone, I have just start [sic] to relax and to enjoy the match ... and I came back". When she beat Julia Goerges to advance to the quarters, it was her first quarterfinal appearance at a major tournament since 2013 Wimbledon.

Halep is 2-0 against Stephens on clay.

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