Relieved Halep fights off nerves to end grand-slam wait

World number one Simona Halep kept calm under pressure to beat Sloane Stephens and claim her first grand-slam title at the French Open.

Simona Halep   -  Getty Images

Simona Halep claimed she "could not breathe" due to nerves in the final game as she came from behind to win her first grand-slam title at the French Open. 

Halep defeated Sloane Stephens 3-6 6-4 6-1 on Saturday, with victory in Paris proving particularly sweet having lost her previous two finals at Roland Garros in 2014 and 2017 in three sets.

The Romanian found herself in a similar position at the Australian Open earlier this year as well before rallying, but fell just short in the decider. 

However, Halep was determined to not let the same thing happen again.

"In the last game I felt that I could not breathe anymore so I just tried to not repeat the last year," said the world number one in the on-court presentation.

"So, I did everything I could. It's amazing what is happening now. Honestly, I can't believe it. 

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

"[Stephens] is very strong on court and when I was a break down in the second set I said, 'It's okay, everything is good. I just have to relax and enjoy the match' and I came back."

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