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Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Simona Halep 16-1 for Wimbledon after winning French Open

Sloane Stephens beaten despite taking first set

Simona Halep kisses the French Open trophy
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Simona Halep is 16-1 to win Wimbledon after finally ditch­ing her Grand Slam maiden tag when fighting back to defeat Sloane Stephens 3-6 6-4 6-1 to win the French Open.

It looked bleak for Halep when Stephens dominated the early exchanges to win the first set, but a combination of the world number one stepping things up and the American’s level dropping enabled the top seed to nab a first crown in her fourth Slam singles final.

Halep has been helped hugely by the coaching efforts of Darren Cahill and the popular Romanian fully deserves to join the ranks of Slam champions.

Stephens is 18-1 for Wimble­don joy in the wake of a superb effort in Paris, but the way her game dropped in sets two and three of the final suggested it was just one match too many for the Floridian.

Halep, who had lost Roland Garros finals to Maria Sharapova in 2014 and Jelena Ostapenko last year, was 6-1 joint-favourite for this season’s Paris clay-court major along with Elina Svitolina before the tournament started, while US Open champion Stephens was 66-1.

The short grass-court season starts this week and Petra Kvitova and Serena Williams are the 6-1 joint-market leaders for more success at the All England Club, where the action starts in just over three weeks.

Garbine Muguruza, who was found wanting in the Paris semi-finals by Halep, is 15-2 third favourite to keep hold of her Wimble­don title.


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It looked bleak for Halep when Stephens dominated the early exchanges to win the first set
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