Tuesday, 19 June, 2018

Stephens takes swipe at 'haters' in media

The Latest Halep fights back against Kerber at French Open Del Potro sets up French Open semifinal match against Nadal
Lucia Summers | 10 June, 2018, 00:28

Sloane Stephens denied Madison Keys revenge for her U.S Open loss as Stephens cruised into the final of the French Open with a routine victory on Thursday.

"It's very emotional. I've been waiting for this moment since I was 14", she told the crowd after lifting the trophy up in the air, then kissing it.

"It's always hard playing someone from your country and such a good friend", Stephens said, "so I was really pleased to be able to get through that and play some good tennis".

Take a look at some of the best tweets after Halep's hard-earned victory. The most recent match was in the 2017 Cincinnati Masters, a match Halep won in straight sets. In the early stages of the match, Halep could find no holes in Stephens's game as the American glided along the baseline, absorbing pace and striking when she sensed an opportunity of her own.

Halep has come up short in two French Open finals in 2014 and 2016 as well as at this year's Australian Open.

"I was dreaming of this moment since I was starting to play tennis".

On Saturday, Halep finally broke through, becoming the first Romanian woman to win the French Open in 40 years.

"After not playing for 11 months, I've had some great results", said the American, who has a flawless 6-0 record in finals.

Showing remarkable nerves given that this was only her second Grand Slam final appearance, Stephens consistently held her serve to take the first set 6-3.

England vs Costa Rica: Rashford, Welbeck seal win for Three Lions
Of England's chances in Russian Federation , he added: "Gareth has a great group of players there". But if it means seeing more goals like that of Rashford's tonight, then I'm all for it.

Halep has been in fine form so far at Roland Garros and eased past former victor Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 6-4 in the last four - a victory which also ensured she will remain the world number one at the end of the tournament.

A Grand Slam win in Paris would bring redemption for Halep, who lost in the 2017 French Open final against Jelena Ostapenko after leading by a set and three games.

But Stephens has had a steely determination about her since fighting back from injury and a ranking of 957 less than a year ago, and will have nothing to lose.

"When I was down a break in the second set I just tried to relax and enjoy the match".

Stephens then had Keys on the back foot again with another break at the start of the second, while a third break a few games later handed her a 5-2 lead. "We don't have to forget that, we have to be aware of that, but also not give too much importance to that otherwise it can get in your head and it's not helping".

She did manage to make Stephens serve for the set, though, and was stepping into the court with more authority, bringing up her first break point. Stephens continued to press Halep's backhand but the World No.1 dictated the pace on that side from the second set.

'Congratulations on your first Slam.

Suddenly Halep had won 12 of 13 points and snatched the momentum, and she made it four games on the spin as Stephens dumped consecutive forehands into the net.

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