French Open: Simona Halep talks about her epic comeback against Elina Svitolina

Written by: Snehanjan Banerjee
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Paris, June 8: World number four Simona Halep staged a remarkable comeback in the quarter-final of the French Open against Elina Svitolina of Ukraine. Third seed Halep looked to be heading out after going a set and 5-1 down.

But the Romanian won five consecutive games and then saved a match point to take it to the decider, which she finished off with ease.

Simona Halep gestures during a match at French Open

After the game, Halep stated that she did not realise she saved a match point as she completed one of the French Open's best comebacks to reach the semi-finals.

The title favourite looked to be heading home when she trailed Elina Svitolina 6-3 5-1 only to win 12 of the last 13 games.

Having twice been broken serving for the match, Svitolina saved four set points at 5-6 to force a second-set tie-break.

She had her first match point at 6-5 but Halep found the outside of the line and the Romanian then took her chance, going on to win 3-6 7-6 (8/6) 6-0.

Halep said of the match point: "I didn't realise. I watched after, when I was stretching, on Twitter a little bit. And the backhand down the line at match point, I was like: 'Was it match point for her?' It was better, actually (not knowing)."

The third seed was briefly dumped by coach Darren Cahill in March due to her poor attitude and the Australian will certainly know he made the right decision in coming back after this superb display of fighting spirit.

Halep said: "I feel that she played unbelievable tennis in the first set and until the end of the second set, 5-1.

"I just sat down at 5-2. I said that the match is lost. So if I did nothing to change something, to change the rhythm, that's it, it's over.

"And then I started to feel more relaxed maybe because I thought it's finished. I put some high balls. I just tried to make her move more, to open the court, and it came. I don't know how, but it was really good.

"The best thing is that I didn't give up. I just want to take this. The match was good. She played well. Then I played better."

Svitolina is No.1 in the 2017 standings and arrived in Paris fresh from a final victory over Halep at the Italian Open. However, the Romanian was hampered by an ankle injury there and had appeared to be in prime form heading into the rematch.

Halep will play Karolina Pliskova in the last four, after the world number three beat Caroline Garcia 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 in Wednesday's other quarter-final.

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