Simona Halep makes her second successive final

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

After Saturday, Halep joined Martina Navratilova (1978 Wimbledon) and Jelena Ostapenko (2017 French Open) as the only women in the Open era to win their first major title after coming from a set down to win in the title match.

Seeing her opponents come back against her in grand slam finals, this time Simona Halep turned the tables.

Simona Halep kept telling everybody who would listen: She was a different player.

The 26-year-old played a scintillating deciding set in which she made only five unforced errors, breaking her major duck in style.

As Halep scurried to chase a shot that turned into a drop shot for Stephens and won the point for 4-0, her coach Darren Cahill leaped out of his chair and pumped his fist.

Simona Halep finally shook off the shackles of her own expectations to clinch a Grand Slam title at the fourth time of asking in a final.

Stephens broke in the third game to gain an early grip on the first set, eventually serving it out and sealing it when Keys netted a forehand. Of her first 14 points, 13 arrived via errors by Muguruza - nine unforced, four forced. Stephens is one of the best movers on tour, and while Halep has started to become more aggressive, she certainly can't hit many winners against the American and will have to rely on mistakes from her opponent.

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Maria Sharapova's first French Open in three years came to a muted conclusion Wednesday. Stephens has won 10 of her last 13 matches on clay court. Halep has won four straight meetings against Stephens, all in straight sets.

A rattled Halep was broken to start the second and Stephens built on the advantage by digging out of a 0-30 hole.

"It's always hard playing someone from your country and such a good friend", Stephens said, "so I was really pleased to be able to get through that and play some good tennis". I like her chances to win her second Major on Saturday.

I spoke to Stephens yesterday, and she told me that her recent run of success since her return from surgery-winning the U.S. Open, winning the Miami Masters, reaching the final here in Paris-has prompted her to re-assess her career and goals. It won't be easy against a mentally strong and physically fit Stephens.

The American pair have contrasting styles, with Stephens' game based on her athleticism and ability to get many balls back, while also turning defence into offence fairly quickly. It would be very unusual, I think, if I didn't write anything about her.

Halep is the bookies' favourite to finally win a first Grand Slam and leads 5-2 in her head-to-head record against Stephens.

The reason why this bookends our campaign is that my model agreed with the market pricing for Saturday's final, which takes place at 14:00 United Kingdom time.

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