Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep has said that former World No. 1 Justine Henin was her idol and that she tried to copy the Belgian player during her younger days. Halep was speaking on the Eurosport’s ‘Tennis Legends’ podcast with Henin, a winner of 7 Grand Slam singles titles during her career.
Ranked No. 2 in the world currently, Halep says, "It’s a pleasure to talk to my idol! When I was growing up, I was actually copying her, I have to admit”. Halep says she loved the Belgian's backhand and that inspite of her smaller frame, Henin managed to reach the top of the rankings which made Halep believe that she could also do the same.
“Well, everything! 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”.
Halep has won 2 Grand Slam singles titles in her career so far and has been No. 1 for 64 weeks as compared to Henin's seven slams and 117 weeks at the top.