Simona Halep, the 23-year-old tennis player from Constanta, Romania, has made it to the quarterfinals of the Aegon Classic at Birmingham. Her aggressive play is allowing her to dispatch her competitors quickly like she did in her match against Klara Koukalova earlier this week.
Halep has been to Wimbledon every year starting in 2011 and is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Grand Slam tournaments. Her singles ranking is currently third in the world, and she seems to be making her way through the nerves that have bothered her in the past.
Simona Halep cruised past Koukalova in 50 minutes, beating her in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3, her two handed backhand helping her power through the Aegon Classic.
“I expected a tough match because she plays very hard on grass with her type of game,” Halep said. “It’s difficult to play her on this surface but I didn’t really want to think about that – I just came out here and played my game, played my style, stayed aggressive and especially served very well in the match.”
The number one seed Simona Halep has been making playing on grass look effortless and is intimidating opponents.
“It was a good match for me today. It was my second match on grass this year so I’m feeling better on it, and I feel no pressure – I’m just enjoying the tennis here, and enjoying playing on this nice court,” Halep said.
“It was the first time I’ve ever played swingball, and it was so difficult!” the World No.3 said. “My opponent was so difficult that day, and he beat me, but hopefully the next time will be better for me.”
Though many players struggle to make the transition from the clay of Roland Garros and the French Open to the grass of the Aegon and Wimbledon tournaments, Simona Halep has found a way to make the change quickly. After a brief rough patch last year, Halep hit the ground running.
“I like grass, but was difficult at the beginning of the tournament because I didn’t have the timing of the balls,” Halep explained.” Then match by match and day to day I was working very hard at practices. Just I wanted to find my feeling. I did really well. I played match by match better and better. It’s not easy to come from clay court to grass court, but I feel good. I can say just that I can adapt very quickly.”
How do you think Simona Halep will do this year at Wimbledon?