Simona Halep believes her former junior playing partner Grigor Dimitrov is now on track for grand slam success after winning the ATP Finals.
Halep finished 2017 as the WTA's top-ranked player, but fell short in her own quest to win a first major and could not claim the WTA Finals, Caroline Wozniacki triumphing in that event in Singapore.
Dimitrov was a somewhat surprising winner of the ATP's corresponding season-ending tournament at London's O2 Arena, the Bulgarian benefiting from the absence of several top players through injury and Roger Federer's upset loss to eventual beaten finalist David Goffin in the last four.
And Halep, speaking exclusively to Omnisport, courtesy of Hublot, has backed the new world number three to make an impact on the big stage moving forward.
"I've known Grigor since I was 13," she said.
"We played together at junior championships. We won together in Moscow at 16. I believe that he can do big things and he just did it in London and I think he will win a grand slam in the future."
Halep's counterpart in the men's rankings is Rafael Nadal, who shared this year's slams with Federer, as both veterans enjoyed a glittering renaissance following recent injury problems.
Asked about the prospect of Federer, who will turn 37 next year, finally calling time on his storied career, Halep said: "I don't even want to think about it as people will cry. It's going to be a big miss."
And the Romanian, after working hard with highly rated coach Darren Cahill to improve her attitude on the court, feels she shares some traits with Britain's Andy Murray, who has been criticised for his body language in the past.
"Andy Murray is a hard worker," she said.
"He gets upset in matches and I like that because I'm like that."
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