Simona Halep news: Tennis great believes Romanian is the women’s equivalent of Rafael Nadal

Simona Halep speaks to the media

Tennis legend Chris Evert believes that Romanian player and former world No 1, Simona Halep, is the women’s equivalent of 21 time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal, due to them having a similar style of play.

Halep has only won two Grand Slam titles as opposed to the Spaniard’s 21, but they are both known for their hard work and determination to come back to the sport quickly after injury.

The French Open winner sustained a couple of bad injuries last season including a muscle tear in her left calf, which ruled her out of the Tokyo Olympics, and an injury to her right adductor which meant she couldn’t play in the Canada Masters.

But so far this season she’s managed to win the Melbourne Summer Set, reach the semi finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships and is currently through to the round of 16 at the Indian Wells Masters, and it’s this resilience which Evert admires.

“Simona Halep is another player like Nadal who has to work harder in training, in the gym, in matches – she is known for three-set matches and comebacks, she is not tall or strong so she has to rely more on her legs and movement,” the 67-year-old explained.

“I think it just depends on her, I’m a big fan of Simona, I like her game, I think she can beat a lot of these players who are ranked ahead of her.

“I can’t believe she’s the 24th favourite (seed at Indian Wells), it’s ridiculous but I know it’s because she was injured, she didn’t play, but she has what it takes to get back in the top five – she is stronger than almost all these players and moves as well as the best on the circuit.”

Halep will be aiming to progress further at the BNP Paribas Open, but she has to see off Keys first if she has any chance of making it to the final.