Instant expert: Simona Halep
Originally published on: 10/08/10 12:49
DOB: September 27, 1991
Born: Constanta, Romania
Height: 5ft 6
Plays: Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
1) The 18-year-old – she turns 19 on September 27 – has just completed her high school exams and is considering starting a university course in economics or something more sports-based – though her favourite subject is maths!
2) The aggressive baseliner had a hugely impressive junior career, winning the Roland Garros girls’ title in 2008, and is now starting to make an impression on the WTA Tour having broken the top 100 for the first time in July.
3) She enjoyed a purple patch during the clay court season, beating Iveta Benesova and Sorana Cirstea on her tour debut in Marbella, and reached her first singles Final in Fes, this time losing out to Benesova.
4) Justine Henin and Roger Federer are her tennis idols, and if she could steal Henin’s backhand she’d abandon her own double-hander. Who wouldn’t!
5) Simona’s Dad runs a cheese and milk factory back home in Romania, while her mother occasionally travels with her on tour. She has one brother, 24-year-old student Nicolae.