Halep Strolls Into Last 16
Published May 31, 2014 12:13
Twelve months ago, Halep was ranked outside the Top 50 and fell at the first hurdle in Roland Garros. A meteoric rise since then saw her return to the French capital amongst the favorites for the title - a status that has only been strengthened by the first week's casualty list.
The Turning Point
With sunshine finally basking the Roland Garros grounds, Halep looked eager to keep her time on court to a minimum, placing the Torró-Flor serve under immediate danger and eventually drawing a backhand error to break for a 3-2 lead. Halep ratcheted up the pressure with a commanding hold and it was not long before she was punching away a neat volley to wrap up the set. The second set was even more one-sided and after just over an hour on court the No.4 seed added the finishing touches to another tidy display.
"This is the third match where I have played really great tennis," Halep said. "It's not a surprise because I'm more confident in myself, and I'm feeling the ball really well here. I love this tournament. I love to be here and I'm enjoying the moment now. It's my best of my career, and I have to be happy on court and to fight for my chance."
Halep faces Sloane Stephens in the last 16 and is eager for revenge, having lost their most recent encounter, at last year's Australian Open. "It's a surprise that the first three seeds lost and not easy to be the highest one left, or to play Sloane," Halep said. "I played her in Australia a couple of seasons ago and she beat me very fast. Now I think I'm more prepared than I was then. I have confidence I can take revenge."