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July 30, 2016

Simona Halep

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

S. HALEP/A. Kerber

6-0, 3-6, 6-2

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You were up 6-Love, you were up a set and a break, it quickly unraveled. Afterwards you were able to pick up and win the match. How were you able to turn it around?
SIMONA HALEP: I knew I have to be aggressive against her. That's the key of the match. If I can handle this, I can win against her. Listen, I played aggressive, I won.

In the second set, when I lost the serve at 3-2, I was a little bit disappointing. Also the nerves were very big. I don't know why. But I couldn't manage that moment, and I can say I gave up a little bit mentally.

But then in the third set, I said that I have to calm down, to just go and play like I did in first set, aggressive, to open the court, to try to finish the points with winners. I think it's the best against her.

She's a very good player. She knows how to handle every moment because she has a lot of experience, Grand Slam champion. So it's never easy to play against her.

But it was really good moment for me to win this match. It's really important. I'm happy with the way that I played.

Q. How hard was it to play another day singles and doubles? Are you ready to do it again tomorrow?
SIMONA HALEP: Actually I have to. No other choice (smiling).

But I'm a little bit dead now. The feeling of winning, it's always great. I'm still motivated to play tomorrow. I'll give my everything, everything I have, to win the matches. I know it is not going to be easy.

But it's the last day of the tournament, so I will enjoy it. Of course, I want to win the trophy. Is the second time and I really want it.

Q. You were in the final last year in Toronto, here in Montréal. I think Canada is good for you. Last year in Toronto you didn't feel good on the last day. Will you want to be sure you're feeling good for tomorrow?
SIMONA HALEP: You never know how you feel the next day. There I was okay before the match. Just during the match the sun hit my head too strong, and I couldn't play anymore. I had no power.

But tomorrow is another day. I'm one year older. Maybe I know to prepare better the day and the match.

So, yeah, it's going to be a big challenge, of course. It's a big match. But I'm taking like a tennis match only and go for it.

Q. You said you gave up a bit for a small period during the second set. Why did you do that?
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't decide that I want to give up during the match, but it happened. I lost a little bit my concentration, my focus. She played well. She stayed there. She was fighting for every ball. It's half and half. It's not just my fault. She played also well.

But in the end was good, so I want to forget that. But I will learn from it, for sure.

Q. You've had great support from the start of the tournament. How do you feel about that?
SIMONA HALEP: I feel good. It's a nice feeling to have so many Romanians supporting me. Also the Canadians I think are supporting me a lot. I want to thank them for this.

The atmosphere, it's amazing there. Always when I'm on court I want to win because I want the next day to be the same. So I keep working hard and just going there to enjoy.

Q. Is it a common thing to have that many Romanians in the crowd? Have you seen this in other cities also?
SIMONA HALEP: It's tough to compare. I think here in Canada they are the most people I've ever seen at my matches, Romanians. But everywhere where I'm going, many Romanians are coming to support me. It's a nice feeling. I want just to see them happy, winning the matches, and to enjoy the moment. I think it's the best of my life now.

Q. Is it common for Romanians to stick together? Are you a community that is always proud?
SIMONA HALEP: I think, yes. I am a strong Romanian. I like my country. That's why I'm still living there. My family's there. Yeah, it's a nice thing, I think.

Q. Speaking of Romanians and Canada. Before the tournament, I think you went to the event for Nadia.

Q. It's the 40th anniversary of that. Now you and Monica are in the finals. What is it about Romania and Montréal?
SIMONA HALEP: We have a nice feeling here in Montréal. I hope I win tomorrow actually.

It was a nice night when Nadia had to be on the stage. Like 25,000 people, so was amazing. Nice feeling to see a Romanian did, like, perfectly job here in Montréal.

Maybe I was a little bit more motivated to do everything, to be like in the last match. I did it well. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have enough power to do better.

Q. Having a fellow Romanian athlete is always an inspiration, but she's also a female athlete who did so well in her sport. How important has Nadia been in being that example for you?
SIMONA HALEP: I think for everyone from Romania is an example. Everyone knows who Nadia is. Doesn't matter the age.

What she did was, like, something bigger that what I'm doing. Even if I'm the top, she got the first 10. So, yeah, it's tough to reach that.

But I think I'm more motivated that I saw it's possible for a Romanian to do the best job on sport. So I'm trying just to work hard, to believe more in myself that I can, and just working hard.

Q. Have you won singles and doubles at the same tournament before? How difficult is that? What does it mean for you to win both in the same tournament?
SIMONA HALEP: I think it's my first final in WTA doubles, first of all, so... I didn't expect that (laughter).

Actually, when I started the tournament, I said the money from the prize money doubles I will do shopping. Now I have enough, so I will enjoy. Maybe that's why I kept winning. I am joking (laughter).

It was nice to play again with Monica. She is a fighter girl. She doesn't give up. She's always, C'mon, Simona, c'mon Simona. Today I was a little bit dead. But I was enjoying and I gave everything in the tiebreak to win it.

Q. Madison Keys won the first set. After your match in Wimbledon, can you talk about Madison?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, she's a very strong player. She hits the ball very strong. Her serve is good.

Will be not like today: many rallies. In Wimbledon, the points were shorter. So I expect that I will not have a good rhythm tomorrow because she can hit a winner, and you don't see the ball. She can miss sometimes.

I have to stay focused for every ball, not to be upset like today, and just to try to do my style: to be aggressive, what I'm doing the best, to stay aggressive, hit the ball, open the court.

Q. About last year in Toronto, it was the first time that you had to leave during a final. It was a bad feeling, I guess.
SIMONA HALEP: To give up the final? Yeah, I was very sick with my head. I was dizzy. I couldn't continue to play. You cannot do anything when you feel bad on court.

Q. Was it your first time?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, my first final that I stopped, yeah. And I hope the last (smiling).

Q. In the doubles today and yesterday, you guys were down and out in the tiebreak, then were able to come back. Explain that.
SIMONA HALEP: I don't know. When we speak about doubles, it's complicated for me (smiling).

Just, I don't know. We took the first set. I know we were going to lose the second set because I had no energy. Then I believed we going to win the tiebreak because we did yesterday.

It's just, I don't know, the moment there, and I just wanted to hit the ball and to make something happen, and it happened.

Q. A word on the final match point when Niculescu was running across the court.
SIMONA HALEP: She was everywhere and me behind her. The tiebreak was her game. She won it. She was everywhere. She was moving very well in that tiebreak. She was the boss totally today.

Q. You announced that you will not go to Rio before you came here. Do you think in some way it helps you for this week to be well-prepared?
SIMONA HALEP: Tough to say because maybe mentally I was not stressed anymore. I did the normal job. I came here early and I practiced a lot, I worked hard.

Rio was very disappointing moment for me to give up, not going there. It's an important event for everyone, I think. But I said that my health is more important than anything, than tennis. So I decided with my family, with my team. I was okay with the decision. I feel okay now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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