No, she is not a dramatic person, wrote Simona Halep. But then she explained that she needed to get rid of something. So she wrote and wrote them and revealed herself on the social media platform Instagram in a way she has rarely done. In the end, the most important thing was: “By the way, I now know what it’s like to have a panic attack. It was not easy to deal with, but I got through it and I smile again. Love, Simona.”
That was good news. For what happened in their second round match at the French Open did not look good. You had hardly seen anything like it in tennis, certainly not with a professional of this rank.
Simona Halep has won two Grand Slam tournaments, 2018 here in Paris, 2019 at Wimbledon, she was number one in the world rankings for 64 weeks. She is very popular in tennis circles with 1.7 million followers on Instagram. She is what is meant by the term star. In the first round of Roland Garros, Halep had defeated the young, forward-thinking German Nastasja Schunk in three sets, albeit with difficulty, and then said that she was fine, she was looking forward to the further course of the tournament, Paris was “like a home “.
But stars can also experience anxiety, they are humans. It shows her case. When she was playing against the young Chinese player Zheng Qinwen and suddenly felt that she was suffering from shortness of breath, she called for help twice during the game. Physiotherapists came. She sat down on the bench and put her hands over her head. Panic, she admitted, had risen in her.
“I really do not know why it happened,” Halep said later, “because I also led.” Her first explanation: she could have put too much pressure on herself, “I really wanted to do well here.” As Halep described the situation, she was caught in a spiral where stress first turned into discomfort, and then this feeling of panic increased in her. The doctors thoroughly checked her out, “everything was perfect”. And so she was just trying to “calm me down”.
Halep had already said to his closest friends: “I can’t take it anymore, I’m done with tennis.”
In her letter to Instagram, Halep also revealed that the past 18 months had been “very hard” for her, “emotionally and physically”. She had told her closest friends, “I can’t take it anymore, I’m done with tennis.” Halep overcame this deep crisis, which in retrospect is amazed at how she liberated herself from this low point: “Somehow my fire came back and I started to feel love for tennis again.” Halep got married last year and it went well for her privately. Which shows so much the more that mental problems in athletes have nothing to do with rank, status or wealth. You can meet anyone in a very individual way.
Halep also expressly thanked his new coach Patrick Mouratoglou, the Frenchman who set up a large tennis academy in Nice and made a name for himself as the coach of Serena Williams, and has recently taken care of the 30-year-old Romanian. A few days ago, after Halep’s two-hour defeat, Mouratoglou also posted a post, taking his player’s defeat on himself, saying he was the only one to blame. Maybe he would help her ease the pressure by taking responsibility for the sporting result.
The sympathy after Halep’s panic attack was also so great because the topic of mental health in tennis is becoming increasingly important, and this topic has a significant history, especially in Paris. A year ago, four-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka from Japan announced that she would not attend press conferences because she was unable to present herself publicly in this way. When criticism was leveled at her, she withdrew her start before her second-round match. Before being eliminated from this year’s tournament in Paris, Osaka explained that she had also sought therapeutic help and that she was doing well. She mostly stays out of social media.
German Alexander Zverev was also asked about “mental health”. World number three, who are battling Spanish qualifier Bernabe Zapata Miralles for a place in the quarter-finals on Sunday, said: “I think we’re always under pressure, we’re always in the spotlight. Players who played 20, 30 years ago certainly do not understand, because today every little thing you do is accompanied by a camera or someone who can comment on it, or there is someone who writes about it. “
But it was also a sign of Halep when she openly reported on her issues on Instagram: More and more professionals are not afraid to admit and describe weaknesses.