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May 27, 2016

Simona Halep

Paris, France

S. HALEP/N. Osaka

4-6, 6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. It was a long day.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, very long day.

Q. Just to rewind it a little bit to your singles match, what do you think of that match and what did you think of Osaka?
SIMONA HALEP: I think that she's very strong player. She's playing well. She's very talented. She has a lot of power with the serve. First serve is very strong.

It was a difficult match today. I'm really happy I could win. Last year or two years ago, I would lose this match because the tight matches are not easy to win. So today I was fighting till the end, and I'm really happy with my performance.

Q. How did you think you turned that match around? Because that first set was obviously tight, but after that it seemed like you made a few changes and looked to get better on the match?
SIMONA HALEP: Actually, in the first set I had 4-2, so I was not that down. But I lost that set four games in a row. It was not easy to handle, the tension at that moment, but I tried to just play faster.

I think was a good point. I think when I played faster against her, it was better for me because she didn't have time to hit with a lot of power.

So I made her move a lot, and I tried just to keep my line.

Q. Into the second week, the round of 16, do you maybe relax a little bit now that you've been able to get through the first week fairly straightforward? Does the tension now ramp up? How are you feeling about it?
SIMONA HALEP: I feel much better than yesterday. I don't have pressure. It's just maybe I'm a little bit tight when I go on court. But, yeah, I feel okay.

Actually, it's fourth round, and I have nothing to lose. It's my second time in fourth round here in French Open in my life. So it's a good result, and I have just to believe that I keep going, that I can keep going. Just playing the match.

I know it's going to be a tough one against Sam, but I'm here to play, and I will give my best to win.

Q. Slams you have a day off between matches. What have you been doing to try and stay relaxed?
SIMONA HALEP: First I have to buy something for myself like I did every day after every victory, and then I will rest, for sure. I will have a massage, longer. And practice, because I have to stay focused. I have to stay in the same shape.

Just thinking about tournament.

Q. Was it tough playing against an opponent today that for periods played some really great games and then sort of dropped off and gave you a lot of unforced errors? It seemed a roller coaster ride. How did you handle that?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I didn't have too much rhythm today. I told my coach after the match that I didn't know how to expect the first serve, because sometimes she serves with 190 and sometimes with 150 first serve, so was very tough to expect something.

But, you know, I have just to stay there to handle every point and to fight for every point. You never know how opponents can play sometimes because some players, when they hit the ball very strong they don't have rhythm too much for you.

So it's difficult, but now I'm used to play with those players. I think I'm better when I play against them.

Q. How's your partnership going with Darren Cahill and what's he helped bring into your game?
SIMONA HALEP: It's a good relation. We understand each other very well. I understand what he tells me to put into my game.

I do everything he says. We discuss about my game. We are on the same line. So we speak same language, even if I'm not good with English. But in tennis we speak the same language.

It's nice. He's a good person, and I feel good with him. I feel confident.

Q. Coming up against someone you have never played before, how do you prepare for a match? Do you like knowing about the person, do you like watching them? Or do you just focus on yourself and what you're there to do?
SIMONA HALEP: I'm not watching anyone. I speak with my coach before the match in the same day, not before, because otherwise I would have dreams with my opponent and it's not good for me (laughter).

In the morning before the warmup, I speak with my coach, and he tells me what I have to do. I just put it in my game.

Q. Speaking of Darren, he said on the radio he thought you might be, if you weren't a tennis player, that you would have been a women's football player, that your foot skills are quite good.

Q. But I'm just a little bit curious, if you were a women's footballer, which position do you feel you would have played?
SIMONA HALEP: Front, just to put the goals. But, no, I would not play football. In Romania, we don't have -- we have? Okay. So maybe -- but no, tennis is my best sport. I think is the best way I'm playing, tennis.

Q. A couple of times in your matches you sort of pointed to your head --
SIMONA HALEP: I'm thinking sometimes what I'm doing.

Q. Is that more of a way of referring to a bad choice of thought or --
SIMONA HALEP: I just tell the truth. I don't think too much what I'm doing. After I finish the point, I see that I had other choice, so I took the wrong decision, and that's why I do.

But I have to remove it. I know. (Smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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