The pair exchanged breaks at the start of the second set but from 1-1 it was one way traffic. "I missed a lot at the beginning of the match".
If Stephens holds her high ranking and can make her way to more Grand Slam finals this year and beyond, this sort of loss could prove beneficial to her long-term outlook. She had played two finals in Paris before, losing to Russian Maria Sharapova in 2014 and then to Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in heartbreaking fashion a year ago.
But the American 10th seed has never lost a WTA final, with her triumph in the Miami Open in March her sixth win from six.
"When I started to win games, I said that past year the same thing happened to me", she said. "I did everything I could".
'Congratulations on your first Slam.
The Romanian knows better than anyone how Grand Slam finals can turn though after her 2017 heartbreak against Ostapenko, and she broke back to love to the delight of the crowd.
She then spotted Virginia Ruzici.
Top-ranked Simona Halep won the French Open Saturday by defeating Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1. Both women are adept at defense, figuring out ways - via speed, strength, skill and instinct - to get almost every ball back over the net.
They are both fleet and fluid baseliners of a similar age: Halep is 26, Stephens 25. Star Sports Select 1, Star Sports Select 2, Star sports Select 1 HD and Star Sports Select 2HD channels will live telecast the 2018 French Open games including Simona Halep vs Sloane Stephens women's singles final. Of her first 14 points, 13 arrived via errors by Muguruza - nine unforced, four forced. She wheeled toward her box, which included US national soccer team player Jozy Altidore, and shook a fist.
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Though she had never before committed a crime before, Johnson was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Trump recently pardoned conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza, who was convicted of a campaign finance violation.
Simona Halep was over the moon to finally end her Grand Slam duck as she lifted the French Open title. It appeared she was on her way.
And then, suddenly, everything changed. Halep refused to panic, and slowly and surely Stephens started to lose heart. A backhand wide. Another long.
Seeing her opponents come back against her in grand slam finals, this time Simona Halep turned the tables.
The American had tired irreparably, and it was her turn to fall 2-0 down at the start of the deciding set.
Halep has been in fine form so far at Roland Garros and eased past former victor Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 6-4 in the last four - a victory which also ensured she will remain the world number one at the end of the tournament. Soon enough, she was climbing up into the stands to share a big hug with Cahill.
Stephens coughed up the first double fault of the match for 0-30 in the fourth game, in the middle of that momentum shift towards Halep, and from there the signs were ominous.
"Not the trophy I wanted", Stephens said, looking at her runner-up plate, "but it's still lovely".
The number 10 seed in the showcase claycourt tournament, who will break into the top five when the latest world rankings are released on Monday, even seemed genuinely pleased for the Romanian, one of several players to have described Stephens's journey back from injury as inspirational.