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Simona Halep ( 17 Photo )

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Simona Halep (Romanian pronunciation: [siˈmona haˈlep]; born 27 September 1991) is a Romanian professional tennis player who is currently ranked world No. 2. Halep first broke into the world’s top 50 at ~,end of 2012, the top 20 in August 2013, and then the top 10 in January 2014 (after reaching the Australian Open quarterfinal). She won her first 6 WTA titles in the same calendar year in 2013 (a feat that was last achieved by Steffi Graf in 1986 when she won her first 7), being named the WTA’s Most Improved Player at its end, as well as being named ESPN Center Court’s 2013 Most Improved Player. Halep reached the 2014 French Open final, her first Grand Slam final, where she played against Maria Sharapova, losing in three sets. She also reached the final of the WTA Finals the same year, but lost to Serena Williams





Early years

Simona Halep was born in the Dobrujan city of Constanța, to Stere and Tania Halep, a family of Aromanian descent. Her father (a former football player at Săgeata Stejaru playing in the lower leagues) owns a dairy products factory.

“I just thought that she serves well to be her height. She has so much power on her serve.
That’s actually really awesome. It’s always hard to play with such power on grass court.”

Serena Williams, on Simona Halep in 2011 after the 3–6, 6–2, 6–1 fightback at Wimbledon.

Halep started playing tennis at the age of four, in emulation of her older brother. At age 6, she was practicing daily. At age 16, she relocated to Bucharest to further her tennis career. She named Justine Henin and Andrei Pavel as two of her idols when she was younger.


Simona Halep’s current clothing sponsor is Adidas, having previously had her apparel supplied by Lacoste. She also signed a deal with Vodafone Romania for 3 years.


MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 25: Simona Halep of Romania plays a backhand in her fourth round match against Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium during day seven of the 2015 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 25, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)


She was coached from an early age by Ioan Stan, a local tennis coach in Constanța.

In January 2014, Simona Halep hired Belgian coach Wim Fissette, former coach of Kim Clijsters and Sabine Lisicki. At the end of the year, she chose to split with him and hired Romanian coach Victor Ioniță, with Thomas Högstedt serving as a coaching consultant for the first three tournaments of the year. She is managed by Virginia Ruzici. Her fitness coach is Teo Cercel.

In the past, Halep has been coached by Adrian Marcu, Andrei Mlendea and Firicel Tomai.



Playing style

Simona Halep has self-described her playing style as being “an aggressive baseliner”  and “she models her game on Justine Henin”. Henin herself said of Halep, “She has an intelligent game. There is a little something that reminds me of myself… it is offensive and aggressive.”

In 2010, before her breakthrough, New York Times columnist Michael Kimmelman described her as “a scrappy player from Romania, short but with potent ground strokes and a scrambler’s talent.”

By 2014, Louisa Thomas of Grantland was writing with admiration that “it turns out that [Simona] is astonishingly fast. She started to think ahead during points […] she has uncanny anticipation. She became even faster […] her strokes became more simple: compact, beautiful, unreadable. […] she learned to disrupt the opposition’s rhythm and disguise her own. At her best, she does not play in patterns. She hits with surprising power. She covers the whole court. She hits balls with heavy power without making a sound. […] Like Djokovic she has a talent for hitting winners from defensive positions. She is a defensive aggressor, an aggressive defender. She is becoming unclassifiable.”  After Halep finished runner-up in her first Grand Slam final against powerful hitter Maria Sharapova in Roland Garros in 2014, Eleanor Crooks of The Independent wrote that Halep “has a lovely fluidity of movement and superb balance that enables her to comfortably trade with more powerful players”. Michael Beattie of Wimbledon.org also noticed that [Halep] “is free of the shrieks, tics and fist-pumps of her contemporaries.”

In terms of tennis strategy Halep is an aggressive counterpuncher. Her very fit body and athleticism provide her with very good all-court movement and she tends to make few errors; she also uses this agility to reach the ball earlier because of her wide back swings and sliding. At the same time she likes to control the rally and can hit very effective cross-court and down-the-line flat shots, generally producing winners.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 25: Simona Halep of Romania plays a backhand in her fourth round match against Yanina Wickmayer of Belgium during day seven of the 2015 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 25, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

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