Ever since Darren Cahill became Simona Halep’s long term coach at the end of last season, the Romanian was brought to know a new way of not just practicing tennis, but on how to look at it too. Cahill came with all his tennis knowledge to help Halep became a Grand Slam champion, however, there have been many more things to discover for Halep.
Tennis is about hard work, constant improvement, and practice, but at some point, nothing is going to matter, if moments of sweet relaxation don’t become part of the daily routine as well. Apart from tactic and technique improvements Cahill is trying to bring in, Halep has always praised that her coach has brought a little bit of an Aussie flair. Even since the beginning of the 2016 season, Halep credited Cahill with her new outlook on life. "I was too tight and I was very focused just for tennis," Halep said. "I think if I'm more relaxed I can play better tennis."
Nerves have been her undoing the last two years. Nonetheless, she has now established herself as part of the game's best, so her hopes of winning a Grand Slam are now translating into combining a good work ethic and a more relaxed view on tennis.
Before departing to Australia for the second block of training with her coach, Halep gave an extensive interview to Digisport. The Romanian opened herself up to different subjects, but one idea particularly stood out. “I don’t want to use big words, but I would like to end my career having him as coach”.
Simona Halep also talked about how Darren helped her by bringing stability to her team during the last season. “I can say I have been pretty stable in regards to my coaching staff ever since I started playing tennis. But the past few years have been tough because I couldn’t find peace with either of them, with the person who’s supposed to be side by side me daily. However, two years ago I met Darren and I just felt things are going to go well. He’s more of a relaxed person, he doesn’t put pressure on results and I like that. I like that he puts pressure on me to learn more tennis, tactically and technically and to enjoy more being on the court. He always tells me that this is where we want to be, on the court! And that's what I want. This is what I live for. And I also live to win a Grand Slam one day.”
We find a more driven Simona Halep. A player who’s had a season with ups and downs. Having the first three months being hampered by injuries, Halep has found her rhythm on her beloved red clay in Madrid, then continued her good form on the American hard courts. She has now ended her third consecutive year in the top 5 and comes with recharged batteries to impress in the new season to come. One thing is for sure, she has plenty more to show.