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June 15, 2015

Simona Halep


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Top seed in the tournament.  Does that make you feel nervous at all or more impressed with that?
SIMONA HALEP:  No, I don't feel nervous because I'm used already to be top seeded.  So I have experience, and I don't think about this too much.
I just want to play this tournament and to play every match with everything, to play 100% every match.

Q.  Do you feel this tournament is almost like the perfect steppingstone for Wimbledon?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I believe this.  That's why I'm here this year.  It's for first time.  It's a good tournament.  I like the club.  The courts are very good.  So I'm looking forward to start this tournament.
Yeah, and maybe a good preparation for Wimbledon.

Q.  Obviously you reached the semifinals at Wimbledon last year.  Hoping to better that this year?
SIMONA HALEP:  I'm happy to be back on grass again.  Last year I had good results, but I have no expectation for this grass season.  I just want to go to play matches and just to feel again that I can beat everyone and I can stay there for how long I need to play the match.

Q.  The French didn't go quite according to plan for you.  Are there ways in which you can make that work in your favor?
SIMONA HALEP:  I have no pressure anymore now.  That is the best thing.  I lost there in second round, so I took the pressure off, and I said that if I feel pressure I cannot play.
So now I'm used to play ‑‑ like even if I lose in first round like I did in Madrid, you know, I just want to try everything, to try my chance here, and to get it if I can.
I don't put pressure on myself.  I just want to be relaxed and to play what I know and what I can in that day.

Q.  I read that you had said that you overpressed a little in Paris.  Did you perhaps try to be too aggressive?  I don't know if you said that, but I read that.  If so, is that something that will work quite well on grass?
SIMONA HALEP:  You know, I just started to play more aggressive on clay, because I had good results on hard court so I just want to take that style on the clay as well.
Didn't work very well, so now I'm back again on my style.  You know, on grass it's better to be aggressive and to take the ball fast.  It's coming faster, so you have to stay low and just to take the balls as quickly as you can.
So I do this here.  It's more similar than clay court to hard court.  So it's a good surface for me.  I hope to have good results here because I feel good.  Here I started to feel the court already.
So I need few matches of course, but still I'm relaxed and I just want to play.

Q.  I don't think you've been beaten as top seed, have you?  When you've been the top seed you've not been beaten, have you?
SIMONA HALEP:  I never beat one?

Q.  No, you never lost when you've been top seed.
SIMONA HALEP:  Okay, yeah, it's always difficult to be first seeded in the tournaments, but if you don't think too much about this you can play with everyone.  Everyone can beat you and you can beat you everyone I think at this level.
And on grass tennis is different and everyone can win.  But I have my chance and I have my confidence high now, and I just want to go there and to see how it goes.

Q.  This is your first visit to Birmingham.

Q.  Why did you decide to come this year?
SIMONA HALEP:  Why?  Because I wanted to play here.  I heard it's a good tournament.  It's good to play this week and then to have a week off in Wimbledon to prepare for the Wimbledon tournament.
I just decided to come here, and I'm happy with my decision.

Q.  Did the extra time after the French Open help you make the decision?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I had two weeks off at home at home, and was enough to recover my body, to recover my mind.
I just came here few days before to feel the grass before starting the tournament.  It's a good tournament, a big tournament, a hard tournament.  Wimbledon is a grand slam and always a tough draw.
Here are many good players so I can see how I play on grass.

Q.  How are you taking to the grass in practice?
SIMONA HALEP:  You know, it's difficult always on grass because it's different.  It's very fast.  The ball doesn't bounce too much.
So I have just to be very focused for every shot.  I feel good.  Like I had feelings from last year.  I played a good tournament last year in Wimbledon, so now I have confidence that I can play good tennis on grass.
But I have to see.  I just want to wait and to take match by match.

Q.  Who are the most dangerous?
SIMONA HALEP:  Every match and every player is dangerous at this level.  I want just to look forward for the first match here.

Q.  Are you pleased there is a bigger gap between the French Open and Wimbledon?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, it's okay and it's good to have one more week between.  I had time to recover myself and just to come back with a lot of pleasure, you know, like relaxed and ready to go.

Q.  Do you think that will help make grass court tennis more important, now that the window is bigger?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, now I think there are three tournaments before Wimbledon.  It's pretty good because we have also a few tournaments on clay, so it's the same almost.
Yeah, it's a good thing, because the players who are playing very good on grass helps a lot to have many tournaments.
For me it's okay.  I decided this year just to play one before Wimbledon.  Next year maybe I will take more tournaments.  Depends how I go in French Open.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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