“Last year I felt the pressure”
“Of course, you move on, otherwise it is not easy to go and win matches,” Halep said. “But when I close my eyes sometimes, and I’m really tired and a little bit sad of what is happening during the day, I just take the memories back, and it gives me happiness.”
Halep’s 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over American Sloane Stephens came a year after a heartbreaking loss in the French Open final, when she lost from a winning position against the unseeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko.
“Last year...I felt the pressure and I didn’t manage it very well,” Halep said. “This year, I said, everyone is for me and I just have to put it into a positive way. I felt the energy, and I felt the power to be able to win that match.”
Her victory was celebrated wildly in Romania, where she is a superstar with her own postage stamp.
Three days after Halep’s triumph, only the second for Romania since her manager, Virginia Ruzici, took the French Open title in 1978, more than 20,000 people showed up in a Bucharest football stadium to welcome her home.