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July 29, 2016

Simona Halep

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

S. HALEP/S. Kuznetsova

3-6, 6-1, 6-1

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you take us through your match against Svetlana, what happened in the first and second set.
SIMONA HALEP: Long time since I played this (smiling).

Yeah, at the beginning of the match, I didn't feel the ball. She had very heavy balls, like, shots. Was really tough for me to return them. She played really well. She didn't miss in the first set. I couldn't resist at that rhythm.

But then in the second set I just tried to be more aggressive, to make her run a little bit more, you know, to take the ball fast. If I would stay also in the back, I would have no chance.

Was not easy for me to go and to restart the match because she's very solid and very strong, but I felt I can dominate the match also physically.

Q. Once things started to feel more comfortable for you out on the court, did you feel the conversations you had with Darren helped you be more clear with what you needed to do against Sveta?
SIMONA HALEP: 3-0 when I called him, I just wanted to give out everything I had inside because I was nervous. I was lost a little bit with the rhythm and the game, what I have to do.

Then I had in my mind that I have to hit the first serve, I had to hit the balls, the forehand and backhand, and to be aggressive. It didn't work just straight after I talked to him. But after, in the second set, was much better. Actually, I started to feel the ball at 5-2 for her. Was a bit late for the first set. But I got the rhythm and then was much easier for me.

Q. Next match will be, many say, the final before the final. What do you think about the matchup in the semifinal with Angelique?
SIMONA HALEP: It's going to be a pretty tough one. I know her pretty well. I played her in Wimbledon. But the grass is different, way different than hard court.

I feel good here. I'm ready to play. It's going to be a big challenge for me. No expectations. Just go in there and to fight for it.

I really want to win. But it's just a tennis match. I have to enjoy it and to be happy on court that I'm in the semifinals.

Q. Kerber had an easy afternoon compared to you. Do you feel she might have an advantage because she had a short day?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, maybe she can have an advantage that she played a short match today and didn't play doubles.

But I feel that I'm into it. I'm okay. I feel the ball. It was good that I work hard today. Maybe it was a very good training for me for tomorrow.

I take every moment, every second from this tournament like positive and to build my confidence and to build my game for the future, not just for this tournament.

Q. Does it make it difficult in slams not being able to call Darren on and get things off your chest or get advice?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I can say that it's more difficult. But today was the first match, first time when I called Darren. We try. Actually he told me before Madrid that I have just to stay alone there and to do my job because I'm doing everything that I have to do during the match, I'm doing in the practices. So I have to solve my problems during the matches.

I try just not to call him very often. But sometimes when I feel, I call him.

Q. The doubles looked pretty fun out there.
SIMONA HALEP: Doubles specialist (smiling).

Q. How did you pull that win out? Are you having more fun having the doubles around?
SIMONA HALEP: Not really with Monica, she's very tough and very concentrated during the matches. But she motivates me pretty well.

Today it was a crazy match. The opponents are playing well. They won the French Open. It was a good win for us.

I played the last doubles match last year in Toronto. I told her after this match that the next tournament will be next year in Toronto, no more doubles (laughter).

But I think help me a lot. I had good moments during the match, good returns, serve. So I was practicing a lot. I think it's going to help me for my singles.

Q. The semifinal match tomorrow, Kerber said she expects long rallies. Is that the kind of match you're expecting yourself tomorrow?
SIMONA HALEP: I expect a very physical match, for sure, because was like this in Wimbledon as well. She plays a little bit different because is lefty. She hits a good angles. So, yeah, I will have to run. I expect it.

But I feel that every match is different. Depends of the feelings and depends how I will feel tomorrow before the match.

I feel good now and I expect a very good match. I expect from her also to fight. So it's okay. I'll be ready.

Q. How would you rate your doubles game?
SIMONA HALEP: 10 plus (laughter). No, I'm joking.

My game in doubles is more singles. I just spoke with Monica. She's the boss on court. She told me, Just keep your thoughts about your singles. Just play how you feel, then I will be at the net.

I want just to make her life easier at the net, to hit strong, and to help with the serve.

Q. Is it tempting to move back when you're at the net?
SIMONA HALEP: No. Actually I started to feel that I like there. I did few times in singles. As I said, it's helping me. I'm proving more and more to go to the net so it's going to be okay.

Q. Story, please.
SIMONA HALEP: In Indian Wells, when I played against Serena, Darren told me before the match that you have to take the step back for the second serve of Serena. I couldn't return one ball. I just changed. I went to the ball, even inside the baseline.

He came at the changeover because I called him. I broke her. He came and he said, Was my bad because I gave you a bad advice. Keep it like that and just go for it.

Was good. Not very funny. I told you, I am boring (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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