It was certainly worth the wait for Simona Halep - who lifted her first Grand Slam title at the fourth time of asking, having fallen at the final hurdle three times previously. The Romanian's emotional debut major captued the attention of fans and media alike. Here's how tennis writers saw Saturday's match:
"Her triumph can be traced back to her defeat by [Caroline] Wozniacki in Melbourne, a loss that could have sent her spiralling but instead simply strengthened her belief." Simon Cambers, The Guardian
"Now Halep was playing a different brand of tennis and Stephens was spent. Two games later, she served it out in style. The inner turmoil was gone. The title belonged to Halep. The victor could not have been more worthy of the honor." Steve Flink, Tennis.com
Words can’t describe how happy the last 24 hours have been for me. I’ve read so many messages & social media posts that’ve brought tears to my eyes that I can’t thank you enough. Sorry for a few bumps along the way ?♀️? but we finally got there!☺️? Lots of love, Simo ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Rzvs6fzN1Y
— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) June 10, 2018
"It was necessary for Halep to draw, from what little energy she had after a fortnight, on the frustration born of her three previous defeats at major events, and from the songs of the many Romanian fans on court Central. Her quest is now complete. She is not the type to give up: in Melbourne, in January, she fought until dehydration. The score of the decisive round could suggest that the American collapsed, but it was Halep who was especially exceptional. The streets of Bucharest will celebrate the second Romanian Grand Slam." L'Equipe
"While the fans chanted as they had during the match, Halep looked momentarily confused. Stephens helped out, raising both of her arms to show Halep what to do with the cup. Halep heeded the advice, one Grand Slam champion relying on another." Christopher Clarey, New York Times
Halep's victory was rapturously received back home in Romania, with Gazeta Sporturilor one publication of many to devote acres of coverage to their player's success. The poster front page on Sunday carried the headline 'Special SimOne'.
"The seeds of Halep's victory were planted at the age of 14, when she decided to be a professional player. She grew up a lot in 2008 with the juniors victory here and, even without knowing, she got a name. Paris. Everything she has done, she has hoped, has dreamed since then, has evolved in a subtle but persuasive way. Under this name. The magic of Paris, becoming a favorite city." Luminita Paul, Gazeta Sporturilor
Romanians watching the Roland Garros Final in Bucharest pic.twitter.com/nl7FnwSLDv
— BookieInsiders Tennis (@InsidersTennis) June 9, 2018
Fellow players and commentators continued to shower Simona with praise, with beaten finalist Sloane Stephens and French former Grand Slam champion Marion Bartoli the latest to add their good wishes.
Huge congratulations to @Simona_Halep and her team, specially @darren_cahill
for their 1st grand slam title !! So well deserved!!!??
Let s not forget @SloaneStephens for the amazing match she played and for keeping this so gracious smile ?? #RG18 pic.twitter.com/WEPcgGucDK
— Marion bartoli (@bartoli_marion) June 10, 2018
Not the outcome I wanted today, but grateful for this opportunity to compete in the @rolandgarros Finals. I wouldn’t have this smile on my face without all the love and support from my team and fans. My deepest thanks. You win or you learn, but you never lose. ♥️ pic.twitter.com/Bg6tkrRMX2
— Sloane Stephens (@SloaneStephens) June 9, 2018