It’s different this time, admits Simona Halep.
One year on from her run to the Australian Open 2018 final – a seven-match odyssey laced with plot twists, ankle turns, marathon encounters and an epic title showdown with Caroline Wozniacki – Halep returns to Melbourne Park with something she did not have 12 months ago: a Grand Slam title to her name.
“It's a big difference,” said the reigning Roland Garros champion. “I can say inside myself, because I did what I wanted to do. I won a Grand Slam finally. Now I can say I'm a real No.1 – before I said without a Grand Slam, you are not a real No.1.”