PARIS—Simona Halep says she is a better competitor since a temporary split from her coach, Darren Cahill.

After Miami, Cahill stopped coaching Halep because he was unhappy with her effort in a 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2 defeat to Johanna Konta.

“I just felt that it was like a shock, because I lost the coach," Halep said. "So I have just to improve in this way, because he never had something to complain about my game and about the work that I do, because I'm working.

"But just with my attitude. I knew that is the only one thing that I have to change to have him back. So I work hard, and I changed.”

Since then, Halep has reached the semis at Stuttgart, won Madrid and reached the final at Rome.

“When I finished Stuttgart, he said he saw enough, and he's ready to come back. I asked him if he wants to come back before Madrid,” she said, smiling. “He said yes, because I improved a lot, and he saw that I really wanted to change that. So the desire that I had in that moment made him come back and just be ready for me.

"Now I'm happy that I can be positive on court, and I will never be negative, I felt ashamed about what I did.”


Halep has won 17 titles and reached as high as No. 2 in the rankings. In 2014, she reached the final at the French Open, where she nearly upset Maria Sharapova.

Halep says Cahill has helped her ground strokes during their time together. The veteran Australian coach and broadcaster has previously worked with Andre Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt, and was an adidas consultant before joining Halep full-time a year and a half ago.

“I feel that I am a different player since I started with him," Halep said. "Even if I didn't have the biggest results in my career, I play different. I open the court better.

“So I feel I learn something new from him, like tactic. My forehand has improved. The serve, as well. I can understand everything he says about the game."