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July 5, 2016

Simona Halep

London, England

A. KERBER/S. Halep
7‑5, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What did you make of that incredible first set with nine breaks of serve in 12 games?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I think both of us, the serve was not that big today. The return was better, looked like.
She was strong. She played a good tennis. In the big moments I didn't keep my tactic as well as I did before.
But it was a good match. I take it like it is. I am disappointed, of course, that I lost. But she was stronger. She deserved to win. And, yeah, it was a good one.

Q. What did you think you were maybe missing in your serve today?
SIMONA HALEP: Confidence maybe a little bit. I didn't trust too much in my serve. I didn't hit it as I did days before. Maybe I don't know why. I was thinking too much with my serve to make the points and maybe that's why the pressure came.

Q. In the second set your serve dropped speed, in the 60s at times. Was that because you were tired or was that deliberately?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I wanted to change all the time the rhythm of my serve to get better into the court and to get the first serve more.
No, I was not tired. I was a little bit in the end because we were running like crazy there on court. But I was strong enough to play the match, to finish it.

Q. Seemed like Angie was able to be more aggressive than you were today. You were stuck behind the baseline a lot. Why do you think that was?
SIMONA HALEP: I think I played well when I had to return her serve. Then when I had to serve, I was making the step behind the baseline. I let her playing the game, to dominate it.
The most bad thing that I did today I think, in my opinion, was that I didn't play when I served as well as I did when I returned. This is the only one thing that I have in my mind now.

Q. How difficult is it to get the ball past her? I guess it's like when some people play against you, as well.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, like I said, she's strong. I knew that before the match. I played many times against her.
Grass is not easy to play. Her ball is not easy to return. She's lefty. The spin is coming on the other way. So is not easy.
Even if her serve is not very strong, like Madison's, but it's coming with the lefty hand, and it's different. It's tough to attack it.

Q. She now has to play one Williams, possibly another Williams to win this event. Do you think she will be to do that?
SIMONA HALEP: Against who is she playing tomorrow?

Q. Venus.
SIMONA HALEP: I think she has a great chance to win because she's fighting till the end, she's strong on the legs. She plays well, in my opinion.
I didn't see Venus. But if she's in semifinals, means she's playing great. So is going to be an interesting one. We will see. I will watch (smiling).

Q. How do you rate your two weeks here at Wimbledon?
SIMONA HALEP: I think I had very good two weeks. If I'm thinking that I didn't play an official match before coming here, it is a great result for me.
It's my second Grand Slam where I played decent tennis, I can say good tennis. I'm happy with the way I am now. I'm really confident that I can improve many things in myself and my game.
I'm disappointed that I didn't play as I wanted. Actually, the attitude, because I didn't put pressure when I had to, pressure on her game.
But I feel that I'm okay. I'm happy. I'm sad now, but I will be happy next days. But I take it like a positive tournament, of course.

Q. It seemed like you got a lot of your belief back these last two weeks. Is that the case? Also, are you really going to watch the tennis for the rest of the tournament?
SIMONA HALEP: Yes. Normally I'm not doing that. But now I will do. I improved a lot in this way of myself. I want to keep going.
It's not easy to go home and to watch. But I will do. I was here. I was happy to be here. Is no reason to be sad, not to watch the match. So I will go and I will watch it.

Q. Obviously there's disappointment and a bit of sadness now. How do you personally bounce back from defeat?
SIMONA HALEP: Just to start again to work tomorrow. Actually, not tomorrow. I need one day rest. My nails are not in a good shape. In the tiebreak happen, and I was disappointed, of course, about this (smiling).
But, yeah, I am still motivated. Even if I lost today, it's just a match. I have many years ahead to play, to be better and better, maybe to win one of these tournaments if it's possible in this life.
I will keep working. I will keep believing. I will enjoy.

Q. Did you have any twinges from your Achilles today?
SIMONA HALEP: No, today was fine.

Q. Given the amount of running you've done today, that must make you feel confident.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I'm happy actually that didn't hurt me. I told in first days I never know when he will hurt me, it will hurt me, because it's strange. Sometimes I have pain, sometimes not.
So today I was perfectly there, healthy. It's a good thing, I think.

Q. How different do you feel going into the second half of the season today after your Wimbledon compared to last year?
SIMONA HALEP: Much better. Last year I lost in the first round here. Yeah, I go with confidence. I go relaxed. I mean, I don't have expectations for the rest of the year. I try to learn this year that I have just to take match by match, tournament by tournament, and to work hard.
I started to work very hard since Stuttgart, where I played very bad match. I'm confident in myself I will get stronger. We will see what is going to happen in the future this year.

Q. When are you and Darren going to reconnect? I guess you will have a bit of a break now.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I think he needs (smiling). No, I'm joking.
In Canada, one week before.

Q. It sounds like you think you can come back here and win this tournament in two or three years and that you'd look back at this fortnight and think this year was a big step towards that, right?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it's a big step. Also I think I can say it with courage, that I think I have a chance here on grass. I play good tennis. I am strong enough on the legs. Yeah, maybe one day I can win this tournament.
But it's like a dream. So I keep it. I keep it every day in my mind because I think it's going to help me to get stronger day by day.

Q. If it was Angelique on the basis of what you saw today against Serena in the final again, do you think Angelique would win again?
SIMONA HALEP: Tough question. I mean, she has a chance. If she beat Serena in Australia, looks like she has, again, a chance to win against her.
But she has a tough one next round. I think she has to take it easy. Then if she has a chance to play in the final, then she has to believe that she can win, of course.

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