Simona Halep - The Romanian Comeback Queen of Tennis: Australian Open 2021
Simona Halep vs Ajla Tomljanovic: 2nd Round Australian Open 2021
The first Grand Slam of 2021 has already commenced in full swing and we have already witnessed some upsets.
There could've been one more in the list but the world no. 2 in women's tennis rankings, Simona Halep produced one of her trademark renditions in the form of a comeback yet again.
Averting an early eviction from the Australian Open, she was 5-2 down in the third set against Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia, who was cruising towards a sensational performance against the second seed.
The set scores were 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in favor of the Romanian. Halep hadn't relinquished to a player ranked as low as Tomljanovic since her defeat in the second-round to Taylor Townsend at the 2019 U.S Open.
Simona Halep was on the backfoot initially as she toiled to find her gear with her groundstrokes, exasperating and consequently, committing 37 unforced errors. The game saw 15 service breaks between the two.
However, she slowly and steadily endured to win the crucial points of the set and managed a triumph that must have hurt the Australian's bitterly.
The Romanian, who is a two-time champion, currently 98-38 is just two adrift of her 100th Grand Slam main draw win. When asked about her thoughts after the game, she revealed that she knew that the game won't be a cakewalk but she didn't have the slightest hint that she would be on the brink of getting knocked out from the event.
Well, comebacks are not new for the Romanian as we present some of her best returns escaping "tournament deaths."
Dubai Tennis Championship
Simona Halep managed comebacks in back-to-back rounds as she progressed through the semi-final of the Dubai Duty-Free Championship.
After losing a set and facing a match point but later covering it up to defeat Ons Jabeur, another day accentuated another glimpse of her nerves on the court.
After losing the first set 3-6, consecutive 6-2 wins booked her place into the next round as she got in control of her shots instantly and forced her opponent, world no. 7 Aryna Sabalenka to commit blunders.
Simona Halep survives a clutch upset from Andresscu
The Wimbledon champion was against the 20-year-old (then 19) Canadian Bianca Andreescu, who had a match point in what was the 12th game of the second set but yet again, it was Halep who rose to the affair and covered her lines well, winning at the end of the day and avoiding what happened with Serena Williams in the US Open 2019 finals.
The set scores were 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), and 6-3 that went on for a combined two hours and 34 minutes at Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre.
Starting well, Andreescu took the utmost advantage from Halep's serves but the Romanian was clever enough to rectify her mistake in the forthcoming set.
In the final set, Andreescu fell short after receiving medical attention due to a lower back issue, while the World No. 2 looked sharp as ever, getting the result in her favor eventually.
2018 French Open Final: Simona Halep stuns Sloane Stephens
The 2018 Roland Garros Final was another tournament where Simona Halep exhibited her heroics as she had lost all her last three Grand Slam Finals out of which two were Roland Garros finals in heart-wrenching fashion.
On the contrary, Sloane Stephens was on the verge of her second Major title and was unbeaten in any final before succumbing to the Romanian. But who would've imagined that Stephens would go down after claiming a set and a break?
However, Simona Halep survived with her deadly serve and managed to clutch some of the deciding moments in the game going on to win her Maiden Major trophy on her first championship point. (3-6, 6-4, 6-0)
Wimbledon 2019 Final: Simona Halep vs Serena Williams
Simona Halep was against one of the frontrunners of the sport, who was eyeing her record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title, Serena Williams.
This may not be a comeback but fighting the odds to win her Maiden Wimbledon deserved a mention. Halep was on a spree as she won 6-2, 6-2 and claimed the first Championship at the All England Club, becoming the first Romanian to win a singles title at Wimbledon which is the oldest of the four Grand Slam Tournaments.
Serena Williams has been perhaps the best player overall with power, agility, and her mental strength and beating her could never be easy. However, against Halep she committed 26 unforced errors compared to the Romanian's three, bridging the gap in the level on which the two played.
The above-mentioned heroics from Simona Halep concludes one of her patterns too and that is first allowing her opponents to play all their cards and then ensuring that she breaks them down not just by her counterstrokes, putting a dent on their well-thought plan but also wearing them down mentally.