PARIS (Reuters) - Romanian Simona Halep said the only thing she intends to change in her fourth Grand Slam final appearance is the result.
The 26-year-old world number one outplayed Garbine Muguruza in the French Open semi-final on Thursday, winning 6-1 6-4 to put herself back within touching distance of finally lifting one of the sport’s biggest prizes.
She has been there before of course and always fallen just short — most notably last year at Roland Garros when she was a set and 3-0 to the good against Latvian Jelena Ostapenko before being overwhelmed by an onslaught of winners.
As she did last year she will start as favourite against American Sloane Stephens.
Asked what she will do to avoid a fourth runners-up cheque she said: “I don’t know what I will change. Probably nothing, because I will keep my routine,” she told reporters.
“I have more experience now. I feel calm. I feel that I have to enjoy it today, the victory, because it’s a great match.
“And I have two more days until I will play the final. So I will stay chilled. I will relax. And then we will see what is going to happen Saturday. For sure I will fight for every ball.”
By most people’s reckoning, Halep is the best player of her generation still to land a Grand Slam, but contrary to what one might expect she does not lay in bed at night worrying about it.
“So I lost three times until now and no one died, so it will be okay,” she smiled. “Of course, it’s a big opportunity, it’s a big chance, but you never know.
“But I will be more confident because I have a lot of experience? In tennis, you never know, so I will stay chilled.”
Halep also lost the 2014 final in Paris to Maria Sharapova and suffered more heartbreak on a sweltering night in Melbourne in January when she went down in three sets to Caroline Wozniacki.
Asked again, however, what she had learned from those losses she quipped: “Can we change the subject? Let’s talk about the beautiful weather! I will answer this question after the final. If I win, I will tell you.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis