Who Is Simona Halep?
Simoma Halep is one of the rising stars in tennis. The 23 years old Romanian is one the most intriguing WTA players, after a spectacular rise in the last 1 year and a half. Halep was ranked 64 in WTA in May 2013. Today, she is the 3rd world’s best in tennis, having on record important wins against tough opponents like Serena Williams, Samantha Stossur, Agnieszka Radwańska, Eugenie Bouchard, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jelena Jankovic. Simona Halep is considered one of the most complete tennis players and many believe that she has the power to become number 1 in WTA circuit. But, who is exactly Simona Halep?
Halep started playing tennis at the age of 4, being trained by her brother. She was registered at a local tennis club at the age of 6. She participated in all national championships and many international competitions for juniors (reaching from qualifiers to the final of the reputed Sainte Genevieve des Boix Tournament). Simona also participated in the FedCup as part of the Romanian Team. Simona Halep proved from a very early age that she can become a real tennis force, reaching the final of Nottingham Hill’s Tournament (2008), playing an Australian Open Junior Semifinal (2008), winning Trofeo Bonfiglio (2008), winning Roland Garros Junior championship (2008), reached ITF Makarska Final (2009) and won ITF Maribor Tournament (2009). Halep was renowned during her youth for a very aggressive baseline style and excelled on service-volley strategy.
Simona played her first WTA final in 2010 ( Fes Tournament, Morocco), losing in two sets 6-4, 6-2 against Iveta Benešová. Halep made the breakthrough of her career after reaching Rome’s semifinal (losing against Serena Williams) in May 2013. After that, she had an incredible streak, winning 6 WTA tournaments in 2013 (Nürnberg, Den Bosch, New Haven, Moscova, Budapesta and Tournament of the Champions organized at Sofia). After a successful 2013, Simona needed to confirm in Grand Slams as well. Simona Halep was ranked 11th in January 2014. The 22 years old Romanian played remarkably in Australian Open, reaching Quarter Finals. She won the Doha tournament and played an Indian Wells Semifinal against Radwanska. She displayed a very good form and a ferocious style, losing the Madrid Final against Maria Sharapova in 3 sets. Experts were amazed by Halep’s performance and style of play at Roland Garros. Simona Halep reached into the Grand Slam final without losing a set. Unfortunately, she lost again against Maria Sharapova in 3 sets in one of the most interesting WTA finals in the last 10 years. The Romanian made another impressive Grand Slam tournament at Wimbledon, where she reached in the Semifinal (being eliminated by Eugenie Bouchard). As a reward for her incredible performance, Simona was declared 3rd in WTA rankings. Halep managed to win Bucharest BRD Open and reached on the second position in WTA standings. After a full summer, Simona seemed tired at the US Open (she was eliminated in the third round), but she certainly showed her value during WTA Tour Championships. Halep won the Red Group with 2 wins (a crushing win against Serena Williams 6-0, 6-2 and a victory against Bouchard) and lost the Final against the world leader, Serena Williams. With these amazing performances, Simona Halep will finish 3rd in WTA standings.
Halep is considered one the most intelligent tennis players and is often compared with Justine Henin, due to her aggressive style and pure talent. Simona Halep remains an adept of the baseline strategy due to her uncanny anticipation and ability to cover the whole court. Her agility and surprising power makes her of the best aggressive counterpunchers in nowadays tennis. Tennis specialists consider that Halep became a complete player, being able to play very well on all surfaces.
Simona Halep developed a lot in the past years. She managed to become the queen of tennis and has the ability to become WTA’s number one. Halep is renowned for her mental toughness, a skill that certainly differentiates her from the opposition. The 23 years old Romanian is a player to watch in the next years, because she has all the qualities to become a tennis legend.