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How radical breast surgery helped Simona Halep turn her career around

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Halep, playing at Roland Garros back in 2008

Sports stars will often do just about anything to give themselves a better chance of success, and for Simona Halep that meant making drastic changes to her body.

The Romanian star has already reached the fourth round of the French Open for the first time at Roland Garros and is turning her career around after going under the knife.

At the age of just 22 she is finding a new level in the world of women's tennis, having already made the last 16 at the US Open in 2013 and followed that up with a first quarter-final appearance at a major in Australia this year.

But her early professional career had not been going as planned, that is for sure.

Having secured the world junior number one spot in 2008 and the Roland Garros girls title in the same year, she was surely set for incredible things - but she struggled to make the transition.

What changed everything for Halep was having breast surgery.

When aged 18, the Romanian opted for breast reduction surgery to take her from 34DD to a 34C and the changes are starting to positively affect her game.

She has repeatedly spoken of her improved movement and mobility around the court, finding additional speed and nimble footwork to go with it.

As such, she has progressed very impressively over the last 18 months and has looked a different player entirely this time around in Paris.

"For me to be here it's not a surprise, because I'm more confident now in myself," Halep told the AFP.

"Now it is not something new for me. I'm trying to do my best always and to fight for every match.

"I'm happy to be for first time in the fourth round in Paris. I hope it will not be the first and the last."

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Another very interesting thing about Halep is her obsession with Harry Potter novels and she is using the books to help her cope with the added pressure of having been voted the WTA's Most Improved Player in 2013.

"I want to improve more. I speak better than last year, but I still have to learn," she said.

"Now I speak more with my coach in English, and it's good. Now I started to read a book in English - Harry Potter."

And as for the fact that, unlike most top players, she has stayed true to her roots and not taken up residence in a tax haven such as Monte Carlo or Switzerland?

"I love my country. I feel good there, and we have good coaches. I am 100 per cent made from Romania, and I'm really happy."

Everyone wishes Halep well as she continues to see her career go from strength to strength after having made some very difficult life choices.

Tennis is not everything in life, but for Halep it is something that is bringing her joy and making her country very proud.

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