“So I was doubting myself that my body can still hold for the highest level in tennis,” she continued. “So yeah, probably I was super close to stopping. I didn’t have that energy and that confidence that I can still be on tour and at the highest level.”
Then, an adductor injury hampered her recovery, but she eventually returned to grand slam action at the US Open where she reached the fourth round.
This year, Halep has started to rebound, announcing Patrick Mouratoglou as her full-time coach earlier this month. Mouratoglou is one of tennis’ top coaches and is best known for his partnership with Serena Williams.
“I feel like I can relate to him, and he has enough power to lead me and I needed a person that can lead me,” Halep said to the WTA.
“Nobody can compare with Serena, so I’m not going to do that now. He knows I’m a different person, I have a different style of playing, a different structure of the person. And we don’t really talk about that. We just focus on ourselves, how we have, with what we have to do, to become the best version of myself.”
With Mouratoglou, Halep is working to develop a more offensive strategy as she prepares for the upcoming French Open.
“I kind of knew from before that I have to be a little bit more aggressive because the tennis is changing, in my opinion, and it’s a lot of power,” Halep said. “So I could say that some players could overpower me if I was, like, 100 meters back from the court.
“I didn’t have like enough power or enough things to do to overplay them a little bit. So the power was getting me. Now, being more aggressive, I think I have a better chance.”
Halep is currently in action at the Mutua Madrid Open where she defeated Zhang Shuai 6-2 6-3 in the first round on Thursday. She will face world No. 2 Paula Badosa in the second round.