Simona Halep

Romanian professional tennis player Simona Halep, currently ranked No. 19 in the world, according to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), recently made the news after suffering a panic attack during her second round match at the French Open in May, 2022. Halep, 30, led by a set and a break against Chinese youngster Zheng Qinwen, 19, but lost 11 of the last 12 games to crash out 2-6, 6-2, 6-1. Reflecting on her surprise defeat, she said, ‘… I lost it. I couldn’t focus.’

Born in Constanta, in southeastern Romania, on September 27, 1991, Halep turned professional in 2006 and, at the last count, had won 23 WTA singles titles, including the French Open in 2018 and Wimbledon in 2019. In 2013, she won six WTA singles titles, making her the first woman since Steffi Graf, in 1986, to do so, and was named WTA Most Improved Player of the Year. Her WTA year end ranking was 11, but she moved into the top 10 shortly afterwards, where she remained for a phenomenal 373 weeks.

Halep was losing finalist in the women’s singles at the French Open twice, in 2014 and 2017, and at the Australian Open in 2018, before beating American Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to win her maiden Grand Slam title back at Stade Roland Garros in 2018. She was ranked number 1 by the WTA at the end of 2017 and 2018 and, all told, spent 64 weeks at the head of the rankings between 2017 and 2019.

In April, 2022, Halep announced that she would be coached full-time by Patrick Mouratoglou, the long-time coach of Serena Williams. The following month, she also announced that she had parted company with Virginia Ruzici, her manager of 14 years, in favour of Nina Wennerstrom and hersports management agency, Wesport.

Leave a Reply