I told myself it's not going to happen again - Halep
Simona Halep told herself "it's not going to happen again" as she produced a storming fightback to finally claim a first grand slam title at the French Open.
There was more than a sense of deja vu when Sloane Stephens led 2-0 in the second set of the women's singles final after winning the first at Roland Garros on Saturday.
The world number one had lost all three of her previous major deciders, but showed great character to banish those painful memories with a 3-6 6-4 6-1 victory on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Halep drew on the memories of her unpleasant experiences in a 2014 French Open final defeat to Maria Sharapova, a showdown with Jelena Ostapenko last year and her Australian Open loss to Caroline Woznacki in January to pull herself off the ropes.
Speaking in a news conference following the finest hour of her career to date, the top seed revealed she had remained positive despite being in such trouble.
"I was dreaming of this moment since I was starting to play tennis. I’m really happy it’s happened in Roland-Garros in Paris - my special city."@Simona_Halep loves you, Paris.#RG18 pic.twitter.com/LHGTa6czLh— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 9, 2018
"I said, it's not going to happen again, but it's okay, I have just to play." said the 26-year-old.
"And then when I started to win games, I said that last year [against Ostapenko] it happened to me, same thing, I was set and a break up and I lost the match.
"So I said there is a chance to come back and win it. I believed in that, and my game was more relaxed. I could make more things on court, and that's why I could win."
Halep said there was a simple formula behind her major triumph.
"I think the best thing that I have done these two weeks is that I stopped missing during the match." said the crowd favourite with a smile.
"That's why I won. Someone told me actually just run and not miss and you're going to win. So I did today."