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12th Jun 2017

Simona Halep’s reaction to throwing away Grand Slam was something else

Her coach was proud for the right reasons

Ben Kiely

Mentally, you can beat yourself to a bloody pulp agonising over the mistakes that lead to a defeat.

This isn’t helpful at all.

A loss is a loss no matter how devastating, and at any level of sport, it is an inevitability.

The past is the past, and unless Doc Brown and his time-travelling DeLorean come speeding into your life, that’s the way it’s going to remain.

The healthiest way to cope with defeat is to get right back up on the horse, analyse what went wrong before and make sure those same errors aren’t repeated in the future. As long as there is a concerted effort to do that, progress is being made and you can consider yourself a success.

As long as there is competition, there will be upsets. There will always be those weird results that catch everyone by surprise. A prime example was the 2017 women’s French Open final.

Third seed Simona Halep was the favourite to win the tournament in Serena Williams’ absence. Standing between her the Grand Slam, and the world number one spot was unseeded 20-year-old Jelena Ostaapenko.

No one would have backed against Halep emerging victorious after she took the opening set and was 3-0 up in the second. However, Ostaapenko fought back brilliantly to claim a stunning 4-6 6-4 6-3 victory.

A lesser athlete would have shed a tear. Not Halep though. Her eyes remained dry and she made a simple vow.

“Let’s keep working. Let’s believe. Maybe I wasn’t ready to win.”

And it’s because of these comments, and the manner in which Halep handled herself, that made coach Darren Cahill sure he was doing something right with his player.