Simona Halep reveals why she is such a big fan of Justine Henin
"When I was growing up, I was actually copying her, I have to admit"
Last Updated: 13/05/20 1:07pm
World No 2 Simona Halep has revealed why she is such a big fan of seven-time Grand Slam champion Justine Henin.
Halep, who claimed her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros in 2018, admitted she grew up idolising the Belgian star.
Henin won four titles in Paris, including a hat-trick of wins from 2005-2007. She was admired for her elegant single-handed backhand, variety and foot-speed.
She spent a total of 117 weeks at the top of the WTA rankings and her domination of the women's game caught the eye of Halep, who was a teenager when Henin was at her peak.
"When I was growing up, I was actually copying her, I have to admit," the Romanian told Eurosport's 'Tennis Legends' podcast.
"First of all, we're the same height and I felt like 'I have a chance to do it!'
"And the backhand - even if I've not got a one-handed backhand - I loved your backhand, Justine.
"I've also copied her movement because she always had strong legs and the way that she played very close to the baseline.
"I tried to copy that but it was not perfect because I was very far behind it sometimes, but I had it in my mind and I knew that it was the best thing to do when you're not very tall."