Is Simona Halep training for the US Open? She announced her unwillingness to play the US Open in June this year. Social media, however, is abuzz with her training and practice clips. We understand Simona’s brand of tennis requires her to train more than Serena or Kvitova, but the clips serve an other objective too. The clips have Simona indulge in rigorous pre-event training to instill worry, and perhaps fear, in the opponents.
Notwithstanding the other objective behind the posting of the training clips, this girl is, indeed, agile, strong, and fast. Simona’s unrelenting drive to be faster, stronger, and better by training harder is evident on court. She is the female version of Djokovic on the court. The ultimate retriever, albeit a little weaker in the mental aspect of the game. Halep, given the mental strength of a Djokovic or Nadal, could win double digit slams. She has, however, come a long way since the 2018 French Open final.
Also read Decoding the Big Three. Why Djokovic and Nadal are counter punchers and retrievers as compared to Federer.
The age of the retrievers, counter punchers, and grinders
The across the board slowing of the courts is a boon for the retrievers, counter-punchers, and grinders like Simona, Djokovic, and Nadal. The advancement in string technology is god-sent for not drawing first blood. Neutralizing a 138 MPH serve or a 85 MPH forehand winner from ten feet behind the baseline pays better dividends than a 138 MPH serve or 85 MPH forehand, nowadays. Even the hallowed grass courts of Wimbledon are slowed down to create longer rallies, and the chip and charge as a tactic is all but forgotten.
The stage is set for the retrievers, grinders, as well as counter punchers to thrive, and Simona must make hay while the sun shines. And, we don’t see a sunset anywhere in the horizon as of now. Simona’s decision, by her own admission, is not final and we hope she decides to play the US Open.