Halep says players feel they can win Grand Slams
23 Feb 2016 - 1:34
By Rizwan Rehmat
DOHA: Romanian tennis giant Simona Halep says players on the WTA Tour feel they can win Grand Slams provided they remain confident about their game against top players like Serena Williams.
In recent years, world number one Williams has reached more Grand Slam finals than any other player, allowing very few chances to other players of winning a major title.
However, with Italy’s Flavia Pennetta winning the US Open last September and Angelique Kerber lifting the Australian Open trophy in January, Halep feels times could be changing for those wanting to challenge Williams’ supremacy on the women’s tour.
“Yeah, I think now every tournament is open to win. Everyone can win,” Halep, 24, said yesterday.
“I know that Serena is still there and she’s very strong. But as I said before, if Angelique won this, Pennetta won the US Open, in my opinion, I can believe more that I have a chance to win. I think every player thinks the same,” the Romanian added.
“It’s a chance for us to fight and believe that we can win a Grand Slam,” the world number four said.
“I do now. We just need more time. We just need more confidence. Why not to believe that we can beat also Serena,” she asked.
Halep’s sentiments were echoed by Agnieszka Radwanska, one of the seeded players at this week’s Qatar Total Open.
“There’s a lot of players (who) deserve to be top-10. We can also see everything is changing every week about the majors as well,” Radwanska said yesterday.
“I think we can see that every major is a bit different. Of course Serena is always there. She’s definitely dominating if she’s on fire. When she’s playing her best tennis, she just playing unbelievable and too good, but otherwise it’s open.
“For some players who have been in the top-10 for a while, it’s also tough to stay there. This is another challenge for us to stay there,” the Polish star said.
Halep, the 2014 Qatar Total Open champion, said confidence and belief were two key factors in her reaching two quarter-finals at the Australian Open (2014 and 2015) and semi-finals at Wimbledon (2014) and the US Open (2015) in recent years.
“Of course it’s not a magic word. If you have confidence and you don’t play very well, you cannot win even if you have confidence,” Halep, winner of 11 WTA Tour titles, explained.
“But when I say confidence, I describe it like you feel strong on the court. Your legs, you feel your legs (are) very strong, that you feel you can run a lot. You can stay there to beat everybody, to hit the ball very strong. In this way, I take the confidence,” she said.
“I have confidence in myself. I believe I can play good tennis because I did already. But sometimes when you don’t pass a good period, you feel unsure when you go on court and play the match.
“Maybe you don’t have the right inspiration in the right moments and you don’t take the best decision when you have to make the point,” she said.
Halep said her indifferent form in 2016 has been the result of sickness bothering the Romanian since late last year.
“No, Because I was sick,” Halep said when asked if he had technique issues with her game.
“I had a tough period since December. Beginning of December I was very sick. I couldn’t practice. I went to Australia taking antibiotics, so it was tough for me to practice. But I wanted to play. I didn’t want to stay home just to feel sick,” Halep said.
“I went to Australia with confidence, but I couldn’t win because it was tough to practice. I was not prepared.
“Now I feel better. I had the good week in Fed Cup. Good matches. And then I came to Dubai, I think in my opinion, I played okay, but I was without confidence, but it was a good match and I took the positives.
“I need time to get better, to get stronger and to come back as I was before,” she said.
And about the decision to cancel her nose surgery plans, Halep said: “Just one day before the surgery I said I would cancel it because I wanted to play Fed Cup. Actually I felt pretty well after the treatment, after the antibiotics. I said I wanted to play, and after Fed Cup, I will see.”