Simona Halep’s season has got off to a tough start.
Early exit in Brisbane and an early exit to Serena in Melbourne mean that Halep has slipped to number three in the world after failing to defend her points from the year before.
1500 points currently separates Halep in third from top spot currently occupied by Naomi Osaka.
Halep is of course without coach Darren Cahill for the season as he spends more time with family so is just travelling with her team.
The big question is, what are Halep’s goals for the year?
Having a stellar year as she did comes with extra pressure and expectation. Defending points is one thing but you have to look at where you can improve to. Halep’s major tournaments where they are points to defend are;
Indian Wells (SF)
There are big points to defend at big tournaments throughout the year but also some gaps at Miami, Wimbledon, New York and the Asian swing towards the end of the season.
For me personally I think the target has to be defending Roland Garros. If Roland Garros were tomorrow for me Halep would still be the over-whelming favourite. Consistency is an issue on the tour especially on clay for some top players and it will be interesting to see what happens.
Despite a stellar year there is also chance to progress to. I imagine she’d look at those wrongs from last year and look to put right especially in New York where the court suits her game so well and of course missing the final few tournaments of the year gives something to build.
It will be tricky for Simona, not having Darren in her corner could be a hinderance but her mental ability on court is on another level and her performances at Roland Garros last year was probably some of the best I have ever seen.