Men's French Open champion Rafael Nadal said Simona Halep's road to Roland Garros meant she 'deserved' her first Grand Slam title.
Halep, who won her maiden Slam last week at Roland Garros, beat American Sloane Stephens to clinch the crown in the fourth Grand Slam final of her career.
"She is one of the best players on the women's tour," Nadal told the media after defeating Dominic Thiem to seal his 11th title in Paris. "It is nice that after the final that she lost last year, with so many chances, with breaks in the second and the third, that she was able to win a Grand Slam."
The ATP World No.1 had nothing but admiration for the Romanian, who received a hero's welcome back in her home country following her French Open triumph.
"She deserves it," said Nadal. "She is No.1 in the world and she is very hard-working. I like people that work hard and have success because I believe that they deserve it. She is one of them, so I am happy for her."
Nadal is not the only one to commend Simona Halep's dedication and self-belief, with Halep's psychologist describing her 'mighty personality' as a major factor in her perseverance and reluctance to give up on her dream of a first major title.
Halep's victory solidifies her position as the World No.1 and puts the 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist in a strong position heading into the grass court season.