Simona Halep splits with coach Thierry Van Cleemput after trial 
Halep reached the round of 16 at the Australian Open before falling to Serena Williams (Image source: Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Simona Halep splits with coach Thierry Van Cleemput after trial 

The world number two brought the Belgian coach on board for last week's Qatar Open but the pair have split amid a 'lack of chemistry'.

craigvickers
Craig Vickers

Simona Halep has ended her trial with coach Thierry Van Cleemput after a week, describing "a lack of chemistry" between the pair.

The world number two reached the final of the Qatar Total Open but she ran out of steam in a 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 reverse to Elise Mertens.

Halep split with long-time coach Darren Cahill at the end of last year and said she was relishing the increased responsibility that comes with travelling alone.

Van Cleemput split with his Belgian compatriot David Goffin earlier this year and began working with Halep before she steered Romania to the Fed Cup semifinals.

'Not a good fit'

She tells WTA Insider: "We decided to stop because we are not a good fit together.

"He's a good person, a very nice person, but on court the chemistry is not there.

"We couldn't fit each other tennis-wise. Personally, he is a very nice person. We are friends."

Cahill, who ended his coaching relationship with the French Open champion to spend more time with his family, guided the Romanian to the world number one spot and her first Grand Slam title.

The pair temporarily split after the Miami Open in 2017 after Cahill was unhappy at a perceived lack of effort from Halep. However, they reconciled three months later and within a year the Romanian ended her Grand Slam hoodoo in Paris.

Halep reached the summit of the women's game for the first time in October 2017 under the tutelage of Cahill (Image source: Julian Finney/Getty Images AsiaPac)
Halep reached the summit of the women's game for the first time in October 2017 under the tutelage of Cahill (Image source: Julian Finney/Getty Images AsiaPac)

'I feel good like this'

She adds: "I can say that I am not looking for a coach at the moment.

"I have my team, I have my hitting partner with me. I feel good like this and I will take my time.

"I know I said that when I started the year and then I changed my mind because I felt I need a coach.

"Still, now I feel like I need that freedom, just to stay and just to play with what I learned from Darren [Cahill] for years."

Halep is the number three seed at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships this week and says she is relaxed after a promising start to 2019.

The Romanian adds: "I'm very happy with how I am playing, how I feel on court, how happy I am also off court, I'm relaxed. I'm taking the tournaments like a pleasure now so the pressure is off.

"It's really good. I feel like there are no weights on my shoulders now."

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