Simona Halep breaks Grand Slam duck with French Open victory

Simona Halep breaks Grand Slam duck with French Open victory

The other semifinal match saw Simona Halep emphatically end the impressive French Open run of 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza with a 6-1, 6-4 victory.

In order to win her first Grand Slam title, Simona Halep had to reflect on one of her most painful defeats.

After heartbreak in three previous major finals, Halep summoned up her best tennis and all the mental strength she has developed over the a year ago to finally overcome her biggest hurdle.

"First of all, thank you guys".

Indeed, there is something of a deja-vu feel from last year's final, where she was a heavy favourite over Jelena Ostapenko, and Halep needs to defeat Stephens to bury the ghosts from what must have been an incredibly deflating defeat - not to mention her best chance to win a Slam title.

"In the last game, I felt I could not breath any more", she said courtside.

Halep, now with momentum on her side, continued to push forward and broke Stephens' serve in the very first game of the third set.

Cori Gauff has defeated Caty McNally 1-6, 6-3, 7-6 (1) in an all-American final to win the girls' title at the French Open.

After dropping her first set at the tournament, the 2016 victor Muguruza fared better in the second, while failing to stop the in-form Halep towards her third final appearance at Grand Slam tournaments.

Stevens netted a service return to bow out. Of her first 14 points, 13 arrived via errors by the Spaniard - nine unforced, four forced.

As in NY nine months ago, it was a mistake-riddled performance from Keys, who committed 41 unforced errors to Stephens' 11.

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"I just didn't calculate", Stephens said on NBC afterward.

A rattled Halep was broken to start the second and Stephens built on the advantage by digging out of a 0-30 hole.

"This is not the trophy I wanted but it's still attractive, so thank you guys", Stephens said as she addressed spectators on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Halep served out to finally snag a well-deserved first Grand Slam title. She has lost all three in the past, including two at Roland Garros in 2014 and previous year.

There were no tears Saturday afternoon, no falling to her knees, no flopping on her back to make a clay angel on the court.

Stephens fell to 0-7 against No. 1-ranked players during her career.

"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".

But Halep doesn't want to focus on that, even though it must give her added confidence. Stephens started missing. A double-fault here.

The first set proved to be the undoing of Muguruza, as she failed to hold serve and allowed her opponent to open up a 5-0 lead before she hit back.

But from 0-2 down in the second set, Halep was able to change the flow of the match. But in the end, she couldn't quite overcome Halep's excellence.

Halep rose to the top of the world rankings for the first time in October and has been the leading player on the WTA Tour this year.