Stephens managed to land a couple of late blows, but Halep confidently served it out, sealing victory on her first match point when her opponent netted a return. Three-time Grand Slam runner-up Halep now is the only thing standing between Stephens and a second major crown.
If Stephens holds her high ranking and can make her way to more Grand Slam finals this year and beyond, this sort of loss could prove beneficial to her long-term outlook.
She held in the first game of their first third-setter in eight meetings with the 14th victor of the match. "So maybe I will have enough power to win it".
Although Halep has worked on her mental toughness for just this moment, I don't believe she has any weapons to really hurt Stephens. I wish in the future to play another final here. I have just to play like I did yesterday (against Muguruza).
Halep is still chasing her first Grand Slam title. "Let's talk outside. It's attractive weather".
Halep won the match 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Simona Halep didn't need a major to validate her No. 1 ranking.
A year ago, a somber Halep said she'd "felt like a spectator on the court" at Roland Garros as unseeded Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia took command midway through their final. "I don't get too up, too down", said Stephens.
However, despite how well Halep has played up to this point, she has a lot of showing and proving to do, as she's developed a history of choking in final appearances.
Top-ranked Nadal enters Wednesday's match bidding to reach his 11th semifinal at Roland Garros.
Romania's Simona Halep celebrates after victory over Germany's Andrea Petkovic at the end of their women's singles third round match on day seven of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open tennis tournament in Paris on 2 June 2018.
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George Bellshaw, Metro: "Halep arguably adapts best to players with big, heavy strokes". She seems genuinely relaxed about her destiny, with the demons of the past exorcised. She's been here twice and it has been an unsavoury ending both times. But yes it happened in the last two matches.
There couldn't have been a more popular champion as the tennis world celebrated nearly more than Halep did. She is the better overall player than Stephens, and clay just widens the margin.
I am going with Sloane Stephens. Although Halep leads the head-to-head match-up, this is the final of a major.
At 26, she's still in the prime of her career, so there's a strong chance the world No. 1 will reach more finals in the coming years.
The 11th-seeded Schwartzman has never made it to the final four at any Grand Slam tournament.
When Halep ended a 14-stroke point by pushing a backhand wide, Stephens owned the first set. Prediction: "Stephens in three sets".