Player Feature: Simona Halep

Full Name: Simona Halep 

Birthdate: September 27, 1991

Birthplace: Constanta, Romania 

Years active: 2006 – present

WTA Rank: #4

Key statistics

  • Known for aggressive baseline style
  • Has 19 singles titles
  • Makes 5x fewer errors than opponents
  • Gave Williams two of her worst defeats

Playing without a full-time coach, Simona Halep is an aggressive baseliner who can cover all surfaces. Halep plays right-handed (two-handed backhand). 

She named Justine Henin as one of her primary tennis models. Henin retorted by saying that Halep is an “intelligent game” who is both offensive and aggressive. She has uncanny anticipation and is astonishingly fast. Her strokes are unreadable, but she knows how to disrupt her opposition’s rhythm while disguising her own.

One vital component of Halep’s tennis strategy is her few errors. She always makes fewer errors against her opponents, at about 5x less. She seizes opportunities not to make any error due to her wide back swings and slides despite her small stature (Halep was only 5’6” and 132 lbs). She controls to rally and produces winners in the process without relying on the mistakes of her opponent.

Her agile all-court movement on the court is the end-result of her daily training. She exercises every day for one hour. Her usual regimen includes running, body weight, and resistance activities. She lifts a maximum of 2 kilograms. Halep is an occasional yoga practitioner as well. 

Her breakout season was in 2013. She won six titles against top 20 and top 10 tennis players. Halep was only second to Steffi Graf to do such who also won the same number of titles in 1986. Halep was named the Most Improved Player by the ESPN Center Court.

She became the #2 player in 2014 and ranked #1 twice between 2017 and 2019. The first one was on October 9, 2017, wherein she held the ranking for 16 weeks and again on 2019 for 48 consecutive weeks. Her 64-week #1 combined ranked her as the 10th in women’s tennis history. 

Halep is Wimbledon 2019’s women’s singles champion, outwitting Serena Williams in a two-sets-straight win. She gave Williams two of her worst defeats; first in 2014 WTA Finals by 6-0, 6-2 and in 2019 by 6-2, 6-2.

She won her Grand Slam titles for the first time in several years since she started playing professionally in 2006. She hasn’t won any Australian Open or US Open titles, but she won French Open in 2018 and her latest win, Wimbledon in 2019.

Halep was the second Romanian tennis player to win multiple majors. The first one was Ilie Nastase who won the US Open and French Open in 1972 and 1973, respectively. Nonetheless, she became the only Romanian player to bring home the Venus Rosewater Dish.

She has played almost 700 tennis matches with 19 singles titles and one doubles title. Halep has 486 wins and 207 losses. 

She has played in Africa, South America, Oceania, Asia, Europe, and North America. She was playing for about 14 years on tour. Halep has also played on clay, grass, carpet, indoor, outdoor, but her biggest accomplishments are on hard surfaces with 14 wins and six losses.

Romanian Tennis Federation manages Halep.

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