THE STORY OF THE FIRST SLAM

Simona Halep, who dropped the first set of her 2018 tournament against American Alison Riske in the first round, grew in confidence during the two weeks. En route to the quarter-finals she did not drop another set as she swept past Taylor Townsend, Andrea Petkovic and Elise Mertens. In a last-eight battle against Angelique Kerber, she recovered from a set down to advance to the semi-finals, where she enjoyed a dominant victory over Garbine Muguruza to reach the finals and maintain her spot at No. 1. Trailing US Open Champion Sloane Stephens 6-3, 2-0 in the fina, Simona showed her true potential, winning 12 of the last 15 points to raise the first major trophy in her career in her fourth appearance in a Grand Slam final.

“I have dreamed of this moment since I started playing tennis,” said Simona as she held the trophy aloft. “I’m very happy that it happened at Roland Garros. Paris is a special city for me. The trophy is tough, beautiful, always when I saw pictures with it, I was dreaming to win and hold it in my arms. Now is a special moment and I am very happy that the trophy is now mine. “