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July 4, 2016

Simona Halep

London, England

S. HALEP/M. Keys
6‑7, 6‑4, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Talk us through that match. How tough was it to get past Madison today?
SIMONA HALEP: It was very tough. I expected a really, really tough one because I know her pretty well, and I know that she's very strong. She hits the ball with a lot of power, and the serve is huge.
So I tried just to make my game. My plan that I had before the match I think it was really, really good. The most important thing was that I stayed there, I kept my concentration till the end, and I was fighting.

Q. After letting the first set go a little bit, serving for it twice, how long did it take for you to put it behind you?
SIMONA HALEP: That set and two more games in the second set. Then I relaxed myself. I said, I have just to start again to play.
But she played really well. She deserved to win that set.
I was a little bit nervous at 40‑15. I did two double‑faults in one game. Was tough, but I take only the positive. I stayed more on court. I feel the ball better now. Yeah, I'm happy that I could win.

Q. Do you like grass now more than you did before? Is there a change in your attitude?
SIMONA HALEP: In my attitude, yeah, is something changed. I improved a lot in the last period. But grass always was a good surface for me. I played well in 2014. I have great memories from here, and I'm just trying to improve my game on every surface.

Q. At what point did you maybe sense she had a problem with her leg? Did you not notice she was struggling in the third set?
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't see. I heard after the match at the first interview that she struggled with the leg.
I don't know, yeah.

Q. What are your thoughts on playing Angelique? What will that match depend on?
SIMONA HALEP: I know Angelique very well. I played many times against her. Last match was on clay, so it's going to be different.
I'm confident. I have to be. I am playing well. I am into the tournament already, so I had tough matches before. I'm looking forward to play against her, and I know it's going to be tough.
She had a good year so far. I'm trying just to enjoy the moment, just to take it like it is.

Q. What are the biggest similarities and differences between your games?
SIMONA HALEP: Tough question. I think we are very different. Firstly, she's a lefty, I am righty. She hits the ball different than me. Yeah, it's tough to say.
Every player has to adjust the game between the opponents. Is not going to be the same match like today, because today Madison was hitting really tough. Tomorrow Angelique is hitting different.
I have just to be focused on the game and just to adjust my game to her game.

Q. When you are kind of disappointed with yourself, after like the first set, are you sad? Are you mad? What exactly is the emotion?
SIMONA HALEP: Disappointed.

Q. Disappointed?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah. Because I lost it. I lost the chance to get the set. Yeah, disappointed.

Q. Do you remember when you had a bad time at Roland Garros last year because you had lost, you were sort of stressing and so on. Everything changes from one year to the other. What is the reaction for you when something bad happens and something good happens? Are you able to be more stable?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I try to be more stable and to have a line.
It's not about me always. It's about an injuries, about how I feel, about sometimes I was sick. You cannot handle this.
But, of course, now I'm more experienced and I have more experience about how the things should go.
I am trying just to keep myself focused on what I have to do every week. It's not easy to play good tennis every week, so I'm trying to take day by day, match by match, be motivated for what I have to do on court.

Q. This hasn't been an easy tournament for everyone just because of the rain, the scheduling. How relaxed have you been able to be? What has been your demeanor off court?
SIMONA HALEP: I was very relaxed. I took it like it is. I have experience from French Open. There I couldn't handle it.
But here was easier for me. Saturday had a big chance to play on Centre Court. I finished the game. So everything went well in my way. I'm happy to be here. It's the only one thing.

Q. You seem to be making a lot of noise on the court, what is called grunting. Is this something you're aware of?
SIMONA HALEP: I had no idea that I screamed so loud today. Normally I'm not doing it. But it comes. So when it comes, I let it.

Q. What does it mean to you to make the quarterfinals of Wimbledon this year?
SIMONA HALEP: Means a lot. As we know, I didn't have a good year at the beginning. But then I started to play well in Madrid.
I'm just enjoying. To be honest, it's really nice moment for me. I take it like a big challenge tomorrow. It's my chance to be here. It's in quarterfinals. It's my chance to win the match if I can.
I'm just enjoying it and I'm happy for what I did these days here.

Q. When you have to play a left‑hander, you're more worried than usual or you don't care? Does it bother your type of game or not?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, you don't play like very often with lefty girls. But I can say that can bother you a little bit. But it's normal. In one game, two games you get used and you don't think that she's lefty anymore.

Q. How would you describe the pace that Madison Keys can put on her shots?
SIMONA HALEP: Unbelievable. Today I felt it like the strongest shot. Was tough to return some balls.
But I have strong legs, and I stay there low. I return the balls really well today. Yeah, I think that's why I could win.

Q. We talk about generations of players, like the Serena generation, Sharapova generation. What is your generation of players, those that you consider you came up in tennis with?
SIMONA HALEP: It's tough because, like, Madison, Bencic, Bouchard, many of them were younger than me, and I couldn't play with them in juniors. So I'm a bit older.
Pavlyuchenkova is my age, is my year. She's in the quarterfinal here. So it's a good result for her, as well.
I don't remember now who is my age. But I think the new generation is strong. They hit the ball very, very strong. But I am not that tall. I'm trying just to adjust my game and to make something different during the matches, during the game.
I try just to create my game and just to be more aggressive.

Q. One of the most memorable matches your fans bring up a lot is when you beat Serena in Singapore.
SIMONA HALEP: A long time ago.

Q. If you need to psych yourself up or pump yourself up, do you ever think of that match?
SIMONA HALEP: No, no, because it was too fast. I was too happy that I won that match. I know that she didn't play her best at that moment. But still it's a good win for me, the biggest win.
No, I don't need matches to get pumped. I just need my own motivation. I have my thoughts. I have my ideas about this sport. So I get pumped with something else, not matches.

Q. How do you see yourself in the game? Do you consider yourself one of the very top? In your mind do you see yourself amongst many?
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't think of this question. Good question.
I see myself like a normal player. I see myself working hard every day for a dream. I see myself confident now, relaxed, happy that I am back on court without injury. Yeah, I see myself like a normal girl, so...

Q. What does Wimbledon and being in the late rounds mean to you?
SIMONA HALEP: It means a lot actually. It's a Grand Slam, first of all. It's a very special one. The grass is not easy to play on it. You have to be strong. You have to stay focused for every ball because you never know how the ball bounces. You have to be prepared for a tough shot that you cannot see or a dropshot you have to go because you have the chance to take it.
It's a big thing. It's a big challenge for me tomorrow. It's a nice tournament. I'm happy to be again, for the second time, in quarterfinals. It's what I have in my mind.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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