“Struggling”: Simona Halep Wary of Conditions at French Open 2020

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World number two Simona Halep will arrive for the French Open 2020 on the back of two straight title wins on clay. The conditions at the French Open are different this year as the event is being held in the fall window of September-October, compared to the usual summer window of May-June.

Halep, who won the French Open in 2018, prefers playing in the Parisian heat. Despite winning the Italian Open this past week, the Romanian star feels that the conditions are a lot different in Paris. To be specific, a lot cooler.

The two-time Grand Slam winner feels she can make a judgment about how the courts are playing this year only after a few good practice sessions.

Unfamiliar conditions for Simona Halep

It’s a big difference between Rome and here, that’s for sure. 15 degrees less. I feel the cold. I feel like struggling a little bit,” Simona Halep said on the sidelines of the French Open 2020.

Simona Halep at Italian Open 2020
Romania’s Simona Halep in action during the final against Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova Clive Brunskill/Pool via REUTERS

Importantly, many matches at this year’s Roland Garros will go late in the evening and will be played under lights. Another major factor is the newly installed roof on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Halep has won her last 10 matches on clay. Along with the Italian Open win, her streak includes the Prague Open title she won just before the US Open 2020.

Will Halep continue her streak on clay?

The top seed at the French Open 2020, Halep plays Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo in the first round. Fifth seed Kiki Bertens is in Halep’s quarter. Meanwhile, sixth seed Serena Williams and third seed Elina Svitolina are in the same half.

Simona Halep with the winner trophy at Italian Open 2020
Tennis – WTA Premier 5 – Italian Open – Foro Italico, Rome, Italy – September 21, 2020 Romania’s Simona Halep as she celebrates winning the final with the trophy after Czech Republic’s Karolina Pliskova retired from the match after sustaining an injury Riccardo Antimiani/Pool via REUTERS

At the Italian Open, Halep defeated another former French Open champion Garbine Muguruza in a tough three-set battle in the semi-final. In the final, she registered a bagel set over second seed Karolina Pliskova. Pliskova then retired early in the second set.

The cooler conditions this year at the French Open will also affect the bounce and how the court plays. To add to the many changes are the new Wilson tennis balls which will be used for the first time at the French Open this year.

Read more – French Open 2020 Draw: Serena Williams on Collision Course With Top Seed Simona Halep

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