World No. 3 Simona Halep is making a much-anticipated return at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix 2021. Adding to her pleasure, her coach Darren Cahill will stay with her throughout the clay-court swing ahead. Together since 2016 (barring the 2019 season), Cahill helped her win her first Grand Slam title at the 2018 French Open. In three years of tenure with Cahill, Halep has been the year-end No.1 twice.
When Cahill began coaching the then 26-year-old, she was a classic counter-puncher. She settled behind the baseline, retrieving shots, and frustrating her opponents. But the style was physically punishing for her body.
Following that, he worked on introducing variations to her game. The Romanian started to open up the court a little more and worked on her transitions to the net. Under Cahill, Halep was no more just a baseline player.
In episode 2 of One-on-One with Chris Evert, the former world No.1 had a few words to say about her Australian coach. “He means a lot as a person first, became I am a very sensitive person and he knew how to manage these emotions.”
She further added “He taught me how to play tennis, more tactics, how to react in some moments, how to react when I win big tournaments or lose big matches. He was the part I needed to complete myself to become a big champion. The chemistry with him is good both on and off the court.”
What’s next for Simona Halep?
Having Cahill by her side throughout the clay-court swing is a huge positive for 29-year-old. Coming back from a shoulder injury is never easy for a tennis player but this is Halep’s favorite part of the season.
It has been nearly two years since she last aced a major – on the grass courts of Wimbledon in 2019. Before, Halep believed she was a player who played on instinct. But under the Australian, they approach each match with a plan.
The countdown for the French Open has begun and the world No.3 will be looking to get some wins on the red dirt under her belt with Cahill by her side.
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