Holding Court

Rise and grind mentality key to Halep's Major hopes

In the lead-up to the Oct 21-28 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, Courtney Nguyen will pen columns exclusively for ST. This is the third of an eight-part series

Simona Halep has done everything anyone could do to win Roland Garros. Except win Roland Garros.

The diminutive Romanian grew up idolising four-time French Open champion Justine Henin, another small-statured player who found a way to unwind the biggest hitters on the terre battue. The last Romanian woman to win Roland Garros, Virginia Ruzici, sat firmly in her corner as a manager and adviser. At 16, Halep became the first Romanian girls' champion at Roland Garros since 1974.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 27, 2018, with the headline 'Rise and grind mentality key to Halep's Major hopes'. Print Edition | Subscribe