Cape Town – World number one Simona Halep reflects on a season where she won her maiden grand slam but was also hampered by injury.
The diminutive Romanian started the year with a bang, reaching the Australian Open final where she lost out to Caroline Wozniacki in a thrilling three setter.
But finally, in her fourth Grand Slam final, Halep would get that monkey off her back, coming from a set down to defeat Sloane Stephens to win the French Open.
Halep backed it up with an 18th WTA title at the Canadian Open in August but a debilitating back injury forced her to withdraw from the season-finale WTA Finals.
Despite this, the Constanta native still managed to finish the year ranked number one for the second time running.
“It’s been amazing,” reflected the 27-year-old on wtatennis.com.
“There have been many bad moments and many good moments – it was a very emotional year. When I lost the final in Melbourne it was tough to come back stronger but what meant a lot is that I came back stronger and could win my first Grand Slam title.
“I have to take it like it is. Look back and take the positives from this year. I’m number one in the world, so it means a lot to me and gives me confidence to go ahead.”
Halep will kick-off her 2019 campaign at the Sydney International in January, where she will be joined by seven of the world’s top ten players.