At the start of the year Simona Halep’s tennis was off the charts, she was incredible! As the season has progressed it’s gone from flawless to sticky.
Frustrations have been there over the past few weeks and they have been very visible. At Indian Wells in her matches against Dolehide and Martic in particular the on-court coaching between herself and coach Darren Cahill got quite heated.
This wasn’t the first time this had happened but it was the first time in while, the last time was before their previous split last year. Simona in her match against Dolehide turned around and said to Cahill when he asked what she was thinking ‘just tell me how to play’ and he gave as good as he got as he told her ‘you’re the one making all the unforced errors’ which seemed to spark her that talk from the Australian.
Amazingly in Miami just over a week later throughout the duration of Halep’s participation we didn’t see Cahill at all on court which was unusual unless they agreed she had to work it out for herself?
Halep is on a bit of a break at the moment, she was doing some practice on an indoor clay court but has returned home to Constanta to be with family with the plan then will be to take part in Fed Cup tie against Switzerland at home where they will be using Roland Garros balls.
Following Fed Cup it looks like being Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome where she has almost 1800 points to defend ahead of the fortnight in Paris where she was runner up last year.
Everything this year and over these next 6-7 weeks will be about one thing, Roland Garros.
Preparations are now for Roland Garros. For a character like Halep I don’t think it’s too important for her to go into Roland Garros with win after win, it will add more pressure so maybe playing with freedom going into the second major of the year may help her out.
The best thing about a major is you play every other day so there is time to go and try different things on the practice court and even though Halep is a danger on hard court she is a force on clay.
I’m not saying losing matches in the build up to Paris will help Halep but maybe she should in her mind prioritise the importance of the matches. Obviously you want to go into a tournament with wins under your belt and not on a losing streak but freedom in your game will give confidence and being the world number one at the moment is enough pressure for any on the tour.