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Halep seeks French Open boost in Rome

AFP  |  Rome 

World number one said Sunday she was looking to lay the groundwork for a Grand Slam breakthrough at in the WTA clay-court tournament.

The 26-year-old finished runner-up in last year before losing in the final in for a second time. She was also a finalist in the this year.

"Of course, the Grand Slam is now for me the most important tournament," said top seed Halep ahead of which starts in on May 21.

Romanian Halep has received a first round bye and will open against either former two-time champion of or Japan's on the clay surface at the Foro Italico.

"But, I cannot plan anything. So I'm taking every tournament as important. I'm giving everything I have every week. Like I did before Melbourne, I went to Shenzhen, I won singles, doubles.

"I'm doing nothing special before a Grand Slam. Just taking care of your body to be healthy. And if nothing bad happens, I feel like every time you are ready.

"I'm working every day, I'm playing every day. So, we'll see what is gonna happen. But, the goal is the Grand Slam this year." Defending champion Halep lost her first match at in three years on Thursday when she was beaten by in the semi-finals.

But that has not dented her confidence.

"Different tournament, different conditions," she said. "I'm coming here with confidence that I'm playing okay on clay. "I played the final last year so I have, you know, good feelings," added Halep, the winner of 16-WTA titles.

Former four-time winner has pulled out of as she returns from maternity leave with sister Venus, 37, seeded eighth in a tournament she won back in 1999.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 13 2018. 20:10 IST