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Simona Halep wins French Open to clinch first Grand Slam title

Pierre René-Worms, FRANCE 24 | Romania's Simona Halep finally broke her Grand Slam duck at Roland Garros on Saturday.

World number one Simona Halep fought back from a set and a break down to defeat Sloane Stephens in a thrilling French Open final and finally end her quest for that elusive maiden Grand Slam title.

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The favourite, Halep was playing in her third final at the French Open after twice falling short against Maria Sharapova in 2014 and Jelena Ostapenko last year. She looked to be on the verge of stumbling at the last hurdle yet again when Stephens, the US Open champion, cruised to a one-set lead and then broke the Romanian's serve early in the second set with some flawless tennis.

But carried by a raucous and partisan crowd on Courth Pilippe Chatrier, the top seed raised her game and powered her way past a waning Stephens to seal a 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 victory. Halep then climbed into the stands to embrace Romania’s gymnastics icon Nadia Comaneci and 1978 Roland Garros winner Virginia Ruzici, the last Romanian to win a Grand Slam title.

There were more cheers later on when a French duo put a silver lining on the home players' miserable run at Roland Garros by winning the men's doubles. With their Davis Cup captain Yannick Noah watching from the stands, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut claimed their third Grand Slam title together by defeating Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 6-2, 7-6 (4) in the final.

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