Halep proves she's the girl with a master plan

Thu Jun 5, 2014 4:53pm EDT
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By Julien Pretot

PARIS (Reuters) - Simona Halep is a player with a plan. A few of them in fact.

While lacking the power of some of the biggest names in the women's game, the wily Romanian has plotted her way through to the French Open final without dropping a set thanks to an ability to adapt to circumstances.

She displayed that handy knack again on Thursday when she beat Germany's Andrea Petkovic 6-2 7-6(4) after briefly running into a spot of bother in the second set.

From a break down the fourth seed hit back to force a tiebreak and went on to become the first Romanian for 34 years to reach the final of a grand slam.

"I have a few plans during the match, but I just want to play my style: to be aggressive and to stay very close to the baseline," Halep told reporters.

No doubt she will already be conjuring some tactics to unsettle Maria Sharapova in Saturday's final when she hopes to emulate her advisor Virginia Ruzici who won the title in 1978 and reached the final two years later.

Although she was not letting on, other to say she wants to make up for losing to the Russian in the final in Madrid in the build-up to the French Open.

"I don't know how I have to play to beat Maria," she said.   Continued...

Simona Halep of Romania returns the ball to Andrea Petkovic of Germany during their women's semi-final match at the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris June 5, 2014. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler