Simona Halep praised as ‘brave’ and ‘classy’ after panic attack ends her Roland Garros
Simona Halep has been praised by former world number four Tim Henman for the way she responded after a panic attack derailed her Roland Garros campaign in the second round.
Eurosport tennis expert Henman lauded the two-time Slam champion for her bravery in speaking to the media about the on-court panic attack she suffered before defeat to Qinwen Zheng.
After splitting the first two sets with Zheng, Halep was down 3-0 in the decider when her discomfort became apparent as she struggled to breathe.
Henman said after Halep’s post-match press conference: “I think it is so brave and so honest for Simona to come in and talk about what happened to her.
“Because I feel that can really have a positive impact on others, if they are struggling with a mental health issue that they have the bravery to speak about it and go and get help.”
at that 3-0 changeover, Halep could be seen breathing heavily in the video broadcast as she walked to her chair before burying her head in a towel.
The physio and doctor were with her promptly to provide medical assistance, but the Romanian did not take an official medical timeout.
She held serve immediately after before Zheng won the remaining games to come through 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 over the 2018 Roland Garros champion.
Throughout the rest of the match Halep took multiple moments to lean on her racket trying to recover her breath, as well as receiving more attention from the trainer at the change of ends at 4-1.
In the press conference, the former world number one said: “It was a panic attack.
“I didn’t know how to handle it because I don’t have them often.
‘I lost it, I couldn’t focus.
“But now I’m good, I’m recovered and I will learn from this episode.”
Henman went on to note how if Halep, a two-time Major winner and former world number one, can have a panic attack, anyone can have one.
He said: “Simona has been around for many years, she has won big titles so it just goes to show that it can happen to anyone.
“I thought it was amazing, really classy, after a really difficult defeat under difficult circumstances to come out and speak.”
Watch every match from Roland-Garros live and exclusive on discovery+ and Eurosport.
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