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Simona Halep vs Jelena Ostapenko French Open final: Confident Halep says she has the mentality to win French Open final

Leye Aduloju in WTA Tour 10 Jun 2017
  • Simona Halep says she has the mentality to win the French Open final against Jelena Ostapenko
  • Simona Halep vs Jelena Ostapenko is live from Roland Garros on Saturday, 10 June from 3:00pm local time/ 2:00pm BST
Simona Halep. (Photo by FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images)

Simona Halep believes she has the right mentality to prosecute Saturday’s French Open final as she looks to end the Cinderella run of Latvian youngster, Jelena Ostapenko.

Like she has done for most of tournament, the 25-year-old Halep goes into the match as the favourite to claim the title, and while she admits to feeling the pressure, she is taking it all in her stride, and has vowed to deliver a performance on Saturday.

“Of course I'm nervous, but it's nice feeling. I take the pressure because I like it. I just take it like a big day, a big match. And definitely I'm ready for it. I have also the mentality to play this final. We will see tomorrow, but I will give my best to make more people happy at home.”

Halep has spoken freely about her improved mental strength all through the French Open- her coach Darren Cahill playing a pivotal role in that department- and she has needed it to come through some difficult matches at Roland Garros.

She was battered and bruised by Elina Svitolina in the quarter finals, but she found a way to dig out a stunning win from a seemingly lost cause, while she overcame a barrage of mighty groundstrokes from a plucky Karolina Pliskova in the semi-finals before coming through to her second Roland Garros final.

There were fears Halep’s that title bid might have been compromised by an ankle injury sustained in her final build-up event in Rome, but the Romanian refused to be disheartened by the doctors’ diagnosis. Halep revealed that her determination to play at Roland Garros , rather than dwell on the hospital report, helped her to heal quicker, and she has shown virtually no signs of the problem in Paris, moving beautifully to carve her route into a second French Open final. 

Saturday’s final carries plenty of significance for Halep, as she will not only win a first Grand Slam title if she beats Ostapenko, she will also rise to number one on the WTA rankings. The Romanian has been keen to play down the occasion, but she does admit that this one match is arguably the most important of her career so far.

“This match is really important, and I will not hide the heaviness that it has." she said. “I will play for two things: my first Grand Slam and No.1 in the world. It's a big challenge, a big chance. 

Halep has never played Ostapenko before, but she has a good idea of what to expect from the big-hitting youngster- and she has vowed to be ready for the challenge.

‘I think I have the game. I have the mentality to win, but it's going be tough. I expect her to give everything she has, to hit all the balls, to play with confidence. But I'm confident, as well. I'm ready to face her, and I'm ready to face another final. If it's going to happen, it’s going to happen, the two things at the same time.”

Halep has received glowing endorsement from one of her contemporaries, with Karolina Pliskova, Halep’s semi-final victim so confident of Halep’s Roland Garros success that she’s willing to bet everything she has on the Romanian!

“No doubt that Ostapenko she’s having a good run here, and she’s a dangerous player for everybody,” Pliskova said. “But I would bet everything what I have on Simona. Still doesn't have to happen, but I think she has it in her hands.”

Halep isn’t quite going down that route, choosing to take a confident but more cautious approach. She has been in good form through the fortnight. She was in great form in the pre-match presser, carrying an air of purpose and confidence around her, and saying all the right things. Can she play all the right shots against the dangerous Ostapenko to claim her first Grand Slam title on Saturday?

Simona Halep vs Jelena Ostapenko is live from Roland Garros on Saturday, 10 June from 3:00pm local time/ 2:00pm BST


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Simona Halep vs Jelena Ostapenko French Open final: Confident Halep says she has the mentality to win French Open final

Simona Halep is sonding very confident ahead of her French Open final against Latvian youngster, Jelena Ostapenko. The Romanian says she has the mentality to win the title.

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