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May 19, 2017

Simona Halep

Rome, Italy

S. HALEP/A. Kontaveit

6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Another win. Are you getting bored with winning?
SIMONA HALEP: No, not at all. It's nice (smiling).

Q. What did you think of her game and how you two matched up compared to Miami?
SIMONA HALEP: Actually, today was a good match, but I can say that I could finish earlier in the second set. But I'm missed that short ball. It was so bad. I went a little bit down.

But she turn it a little bit around. She came stronger. She came back for few games, and she played really, really well.

She's very strong. But I knew that if I push her back, I hit the ball a little bit higher, it's gonna disturb her. So I think I stayed pretty well there.

But some short balls that Darren told me that I flap -- how you call it, flap?

Q. Like a bird?
SIMONA HALEP: No, like I messed up all the short balls. But I forgot what he said.

Q. Flub?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, flubbed all the short balls. Yeah, today was not a good day close to the net. But behind was pretty strong.

Q. Yeah, I was actually quite impressed by your performance. Is this your best performance here so far?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I think yes. I'm really proud that I could continue winning and playing at my highest level after a title, so that is not easy.

I feel good. I feel happy with my way that I play, and I feel happy also with my attitude.

Q. Are you actually tired? I know I'm asking you this question like every day, but I imagine that after, like, these two weeks, you must be feeling your body.
SIMONA HALEP: A little bit I feel tired. Is normal. Day by day is a little bit worse, but winning stuff is keeping me high, is keeping my up. So I'm not thinking about that too much. I just take day by day, and I go on court just to do what I can.

Q. Could you compare what Madrid, Rome, and Paris, the courts, what problems they give to you, which is the best suited to you?
SIMONA HALEP: Madrid I can say it's the best place to play for me, because it's a little bit of altitude, and the ball flies a little bit.

Here I feel that the weather that is hot helps me. I feel really well on court. And Paris I hope is not gonna rain this year.

Q. So do we.
SIMONA HALEP: Last year, yeah, was pretty tough and the ball was like this (demonstrating). Against Sam I couldn't do much.

But I feel good on these courts. All these three tournaments have similar clay. So that's why maybe I play my best tennis.

Q. So you have got either next up Kiki Bertens or Daria Gavrilova. Gavrilova you know from last year, as well?
SIMONA HALEP: I remember.

Q. Sorry. Could you just give us your thoughts on that matchup for semifinals?
SIMONA HALEP: First of all, it's a semifinal, so everyone gives everything and no one has something to lose. So it's gonna be a tough one, like always.

I know pretty well both of them. I played few times against Dasha Gavrilova. Here last year, as well. I know what I have to do. I know that I have my chance. But still is going to be a tough one. I cannot say much, because I feel a little bit tired, I feel that it's, like, so many matches in a row, but I'm okay.

And against Kiki Bertens, I know that she plays different that Gavrilova: flatter, harder, stronger. So I have to make her run.

Q. If you feel a little bit tired, next week you go directly to Paris or before to the beach for rest?
SIMONA HALEP: No, no beach (smiling). After Wimbledon maybe.

No, I go to Paris to train, yeah.

Q. How much do you feel like the last two weeks that you're playing your best tennis all the time and that's why you're winning the matches, or do you feel like you're getting quality wins but maybe your level is not where, you know, it could be?
SIMONA HALEP: Definitely Madrid I can say I didn't play my best tennis, but anything else, like attitude, like legs, like the feelings that I had inside of myself are at the highest level. So I felt great.

Here I feel that I play better tennis, but I'm a little bit down with energy because I played so many matches. But I feel the best this year so far. So I just want to keep this even if I lose, even if I win. It's not easy, I know that, and I have to take care of also of my body.

Q. When you miss those short balls or when you have those instances where you might go down a little bit and get negative...

Q. Sure, you say it; I'm not saying it. But what are you telling yourself nowadays that's different than maybe what you would tell yourself before to kind of stop yourself...
SIMONA HALEP: Oh, before maybe I would have a broken racquet after so many short balls missed. Now I said, It's just a point. Go back. Next one, try better.

This is my mentality now (smiling).

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