2018 US Open Spotlight: Simona Halep

August 13, 2018 05:06 PM

By Erin Maher

2018 has been Simona Halep’s year. The world No. 1 captured her first Grand Slam title earlier this year on the clay courts of Paris. On Sunday, she added to her legacy by taking her third title of the year and 18th overall in Montreal, where she defeated defending US Open champion Sloane Stephens in the Rogers Cup final, 7-6, 3-6, 6-4.

Here’s more on the top women’s player in the world.

The Simona Halep File

Age: 26
Birthplace: Constanta, Romania
Current Rank: 1
Career-High Rank: 1 (October 2017)
Best US Open Finish: Semifinals (2015)

The Baseline

- Halep and her opponent on the other side of the court in the Rogers Cup final, Sloane Stephens, share quite the rivalry. The two met earlier this year in the French Open final, where Halep trumped the 2017 US Open champion, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. While Stephens captured her maiden Slam win first last year in New York, Halep leads Stephens in their head-to-head matchups, taking seven victories out of the pair’s nine meetings.

- With her win in Montreal, Halep became the first player to qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals in Singapore. She has now qualified for the tournament five straight years, and she holds the distinction of being the only player to play at the event all five times it has been held in Singapore. Halep reached the final there in 2014, only to be thwarted by then-world No. 1 Serena Williams.

- Before her breakthrough at this year's French Open, Halep had reached Grand Slam finals on three other occasions, including twice at Roland Garros in 2014 and 2017 and once at the Australian Open this past January.

- Halep is the first Romanian woman in 40 years to win Roland Garros since Virginia Ruzici captured the title in 1978. She and Ruzici are the only two Romanian women to ever win a major. Halep's first Slam title came 10 years ago, when she won the junior championship in Paris in 2008.

- Halep’s best US Open finish came in 2015, when she reached the semifinals before falling to No. 26 seed and eventual champion Flavia Pennetta.

They Said it!

"I feel like, OK, I had a big holiday after French Open, but my game is still there, and also the desire to win, which makes me happy and makes me to relax more. It's not away. I will keep working. I will keep doing the same thing. Hopefully I will have many more." – Halep said after her victory against Sloane Stephens in the 2018 Rogers Cup final.