Simona Halep, the 2019 Wimbledon champion, is preparing to defend her title when Grand Slam action returns to London after a two-year hiatus.
Halep won her second Major title with a commanding 6-2, 6-2 victory over Serena Williams, the seven-time Wimbledon champion. The Romanian made only three unforced errors in the final, which she won in under an hour, and many consider it to be her best performance to date.
Simona Halep spoke to the Daily Mail after arriving in London for this year’s Wimbledon, recalling her emotions from the historic day in 2019 and claiming it was the “perfect match” from her.
“I wasn’t that nervous, even though I am a nervous person and I was very relaxed that morning,” Halep said. “I played the perfect match. I had faced Serena in Singapore, where I played fast and didn’t give her the time to settle, so I knew if I did that I had a chance. I felt more excited than nervous and I had my family there. It was the most beautiful day of my life.”
Simona Halep’s tennis career has been defined by her ability to overcome her personal demons and retain a good attitude despite the ups and downs. The Romanian talked out about her early hardships as a player and disclosed the exact year – Rome 2013 – when she began to believe in her own abilities.
“In 2010, I was not very confident in my game, my attitude was too negative and I didn’t believe I could get to the top,” Halep said. “So I had to have a lot of experiences before I believed I could beat top players. I needed time to get the feeling that I’m good enough. It really changed at Rome in the Italian Open of 2013, where I reached the semifinal and started to believe.”
“I feel like I move more securely on the grass, it’s not as slippery as it was” – Simona Halep
So far, Simona Halep’s 2021 season hasn’t been kind to her. The Romanian had to withdraw from Roland Garros after suffering a calf muscle injury in Rome, an event she won in 2018.
Halep has been rehabilitating at her house in Constanta for the past three weeks. But she’s back in shape and ready to take on a surface that used to be really difficult for her to play on.
Simona Halep talked about how her connection with grass evolved and how she tweaked her game to win Wimbledon. One of the keys for the Romanian was improved movement on the “slippery” surface, as well as the addition of a slice serve.
“I feel like I move more securely on the grass, it’s not as slippery as it was,” Halep said. “It is safer to slide and the ball bounces a bit higher, so I have longer to hit it and open the court up.””Developing the slice serve has helped me a lot and the fact that others don’t come to the net that much, the game is not finishing that fast any more,” she added. “Before, I was not that comfortable because I didn’t feel steady on my feet. I’ve now had quite good results there and in 2019 it was the best connection.”