Saturday, May 8, 2021

Halep is champion at last, French team wins doubles title


tiamin rice

Romania’s Simona Halep returns the ball to Alison Riske of the US during their women’s singles first round match on day four of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on May 30, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Eric FEFERBERG

Simona Halep of Romania defeated American Sloane Stephens 3/6, 6/4, 6/1 to lift the French Open trophy. The new champion is a third time lucky winner, on her third attempt in the finals of a Grand Slam event. The French pair won the men’s doubles by defeating the team consisting two players from Austria and Croatia.

The first set was closely contested. As neither player had an overpowering serve, with average speeds of 143 for Halep and 177 for Stephens, there were no outright winning first serves and no double faults. However the American had a greater number of first serves and clinched the points played after the deliveries. Stephens took the first set 6/3; amassing 32 points to Halep’s 25.

In the second set, Halep raised her first serve deliveries to 80 per cent but Sloane increased hers to 82. The difference was Halep’s defense, which reduced the points Sloane got on her great serving. The American dropped her serve and her opponent led 4-2. Sloane fought back to level but lost the ninth and tenth games and Halep leveled at one set apiece.

The third set was all Halep who achieved a high percentage of first serve and won many points on her successful serves. While Sloane did not have an opportunity to break her opponent’s serve, Halep converted two break opportunities to win the set 6-1. The match lasted 2 hours and 3 minutes.

After the ladies finals, the French pair of Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hughes Herbert won the doubles title by defeating the second seeded pair of Oliver Marach of Austria and Mate Pavic of Croatia 6/2, 7/6 (4).

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