Simona Halep Indian Wells 2022

Simona Halep rejuvenated after first win under coach Mouratoglou, saying: ‘I have the fire back’

Former world number one Simona Halep has opened up about her relationship with new coach Patrick Mouratoglou, admitting the Frenchman has helped her ‘get her fire back’. 

The 2019 Wimbledon champion was on the brink of retirement after an injury-plagued 2021 and admits she was not sure if she would be able to get back to her best as she ended her long-time partnership with Darren Cahill last winter.

Earlier this month, Halep announced she was set to appoint Serena Williams’s ex-coach Patrick Mouratoglou.

Despite having mentored several players on tour recently, including Monte Carlo Masters champion Stefanos Tsitsipas, it is the first time Mouratoglou has worked exclusively as a coach for a player on tour since working with Serena Williams for 10 years.

This week at the Madrid Open, Simona Halep played her debut match under the watchful eye of Mouratoglou as she sailed to a straight sets victory over China’s Zhang Shuai.

The Romanian wrapped up the victory in 58 minutes winning comfortably 6-2, 6-3.

Following the match, Simona Halep waxed lyrical about her new partnership with the Frenchman saying he has helped her find her love for tennis and being on court again.

Halep told reporters, “I used to be a little bit more negative in the past, I improved, but now it’s like, wow, even more.

“I can open up to him super easy, I can actually say everything I feel which is helping me because he knows how to take it and how to respond to my problems or my doubts.

“And he has helped me a lot with my doubts because before meeting him I had a lot of doubts that I cannot play at a high level again and probably I was thinking about stopping at one point. But now I’m starting to get it back, I have the fire back, and I love to be on court.”

The feeling also appears to be mutual as Mouratoglou posted about the “special” match on his social media.

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