Halep, Stephens relaxed ahead of women’s final at Roland Garros

Paris, June 8 (IANS) World No. 1 Simona Halep and US Open defending champion Sloane Stephens maintained a relaxed mood prior to their women’s singles final at the 2018 French Open on Saturday.

Halep, who is set to make her third final appearance at Roland Garros and fourth overall at Grand Slam tournaments, highlighted the experience from her previous journeys, reported Xinhua news agency.

She lost the 2017 French Open final to Latvian Jelena Ostapenko.

“I’m a little bit different because I have more experience. I’m more relaxed about this situation,” said the top-ranked Romanian.

“But you never know. Every match is different, and I cannot expect anything for tomorrow. I just expect myself to give everything I have and to try to play my best tennis,” she added.

“To be able to play two finals in a row at this tournament means a lot for me. As you all know, it’s my favourite Grand Slam. I feel like home here,” Halep pointed out.

Stephens made her return to the 2017 Wimbledon following an 11-month absence due to foot surgery, before claiming her maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open last year.

“After not playing for 11 months, obviously a lot of hard work went into it, a lot of adversity, a lot of ups and downs.

“Now I have matured a little bit and recognized the opportunities when they have been presented. The most important thing is that I have taken those opportunities and done a lot with them,” said Stephens.

Stephens also tuned down pressure on herself before the women’s finale in Paris.

“I try not to put too much pressure on myself. That’s the easiest way to compete when you’re not thinking about too many things.

“I just try to stay relaxed in myself and enjoy it. Obviously if you’re struggling with things and you’re not happy, it makes it a lot more difficult to have good results or success,” she said.

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