Tennis

Simona Halep finds inner calm during lockdown

Simona Halep said she had found inner calm during tennis' coronavirus shutdown and that she had returned to the courts with more maturity.

Halep lifted the Prague crown following the WTA Tour's resumption last month, before claiming another in Rome on Monday to emerge as heavy favourite for the French Open, which begins on Sunday, when she turns 29.

"The pandemic got me in a place that I really dreamed to be," the world No. 2 told the WTA Insider Podcast.

"I'm more mature, more relaxed because I could see that the most difficult things are in life in general, not in sport. So being able to do this as good as I do in the last seven years, it's a big thing."

The Romanian said her first Rome title, which she won when Karolina Pliskova retired due to injury, was the culmination of a dream she had since 2013.

"Back then I was fighting with everyone, with myself, the opponent, the ball, the racket, the weather, the crowd, the team... so I have many on the list," she said.

"Now I tell myself... I have to fight with the opponent because I face an opponent." - REUTERS

Tennis