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May 23, 2016

Simona Halep

Paris, France

S. HALEP/N. Hibino

6-2, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. A lot of waiting for the rain and everything, so how did you feel today about that match?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah. I was waiting a lot, but she was in the same situation, so for both of us was a bit difficult.

But I didn't think this. I just kept my focusing on what I have to do when I go on court. Still yesterday I thought that I was prepared to play, so even if they canceled the match I was ready to go.

Today was a good day for me, good start. I played very well, and, yeah, I feel good here.

Q. Obviously not wanting to look at anything negative, but last year did not go great for you here. When you have a lot of time waiting around, do you ever think of last year or are you able to...

Q. Block it out?
SIMONA HALEP: I don't remember what happened last year (smiling).

I just take the present. I take the day, and I take tomorrow. It's a normal tournament. It's special. It's important, but I want to keep it like a normal tournament and here I am. I have just to do my job.

Q. Can you just talk about -- I haven't seen you since Madrid. How did that title help get you back on track? Do you feel more confident coming into this tournament because of it?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I feel more confident now playing on clay court. I had good matches in Madrid. The title is really important for me. Means a lot.

You know, now I feel more confident like everyone can see that that I play aggressive, I play my game.

Always when I go on court I feel that I can win the match. So this makes myself a little bit more, you know, positive, a little bit more stronger on court, and I just want to go to play.

Actually, I'm waiting already the second round. I just -- I feel good, and I feel that I have the game to win matches here.

Q. We know you like soccer and learn from soccer players, but you're also friends with Nadia Comaneci. We saw her in Madrid on television. Just talk about her, what her athleticism has meant to you, what you can learn from her and are there any comparisons between gymnastics and tennis?
SIMONA HALEP: It's tough. I think just the confidence you can compare about sports, because they are very different. Actually, I didn't see many of her results of playing there, because I'm still a bit young for, yeah, for those times (smiling).

But I learn from her that if you believe in yourself you can do everything you want. If you have confidence, you can beat the best one in the world.

So she did it. She did it very well. She was the best gymnast in the world and she got the perfect 10. Only her at that moment. It means a lot to have around good people like her, like Mr. Tiriac, like Ilie Nastase. I saw him today watching my match. It's good to have good people and important people close to my career. It means a lot.

Q. Of the past stars, who was bigger in Romania, Ilie or Tiriac or Nadia?
SIMONA HALEP: For me or for Romania?

Q. For Romania.
SIMONA HALEP: For Romania. We have to ask the people. All of them are very important. All of them are the best for me.

Q. For you?
SIMONA HALEP: Mr. Tiriac is the best.

Q. We have been talking to a lot of the ATP players about their practice habits and a lot of the top guys practice with each other before the majors. So you find Rafa practicing with Andy, Stan practicing with Novak. Have you ever sought out any of the other top players for practices? Yes or no?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I practiced with Victoria Azarenka, with Carla, Watson. So we practice together as much as possible.

Sometimes you want just to hit with a sparring to do your job or with your coach just to have the feeling.

But, yeah, mostly we practice each other always.

Q. So when would you choose to prefer to practice with a player instead of with a sparring partner?
SIMONA HALEP: Today before the match I practiced with Vinci. So you don't know. You feel it before the day, before the practice. If you want to hit with someone else, you go for it.

If not, you just take yourself the court.

Q. Many people feel that Darren is one of the most brightest minds tennis. He's coached other greats like yourself. Talk about the dynamic. Is what he brings about the technique or the history of the game or the mental? Just talk about what he brings to you.
SIMONA HALEP: I think the most important thing that he brought to me is mental, mentally, because he tells me how to manage all the situations.

Also tactic, he tells me how to play, always when he came on court, when I called him on-court coaching, I did what he said and I won all the matches.

So, yeah, I learned many things from him. I learned that I have to adjust always the matches. Depends of the opponents, how I have to play, but I have to keep my style, to be aggressive, to believe that I have -- that I'm able to open the court, the angles. I have just to do the points. Not waiting for the mistake from the opponents.

So, yeah, he learns me many things about tennis and also attitude, because sometimes I have bad attitude. But, you know, it's normal, and when the pressure is on, you cannot control everything.

But I'm better. I'm stronger now. And I keep working to get better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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