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May 30, 2017

Simona Halep

Paris, France

S. HALEP/J. Cepelova

6-2, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. How is the ankle doing?
SIMONA HALEP: Good. All good. I still feel a little pain, but it's nothing dangerous, so I can play.

Q. You were sliding okay?

Q. Everything is working okay today?
SIMONA HALEP: It's pretty taped today and nothing is moving, so it's safe (smiling).

Q. In the past few days, what have you been particularly looking at in terms of just making sure that there won't be an extra strain on the ankle while at the same time making sure that you can put enough weight on your leg and behind the ball?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it was a little bit difficult, but the last three, four days I practiced normal. I played also some points, the practice, and I didn't feel pain. But after, it's a little bit difficult, because when it's cold, it's getting a little bit like swollen, yeah.

But looks much better than one week ago. I did also the ultrasound Saturday. It's still a little bit broken, but it's like 80% recovered, so looks good and I have confidence that it's going to be okay this tournament.

Q. How much more confident are you with respect to your chances for this week, next week, you know, now, as opposed to when you were sitting in that chair on Friday before the ultrasound before a match, all that?
SIMONA HALEP: It's much better now (smiling). I feel more confident, and the fact that I could play today and run without fear, I just feel good. I feel that nothing can happen.

As I said, the tape is pretty strong, and nothing can move there. So I'm confident when I step on the court, and I'm not thinking about injuries.

So this is a good point. Maybe is the most important thing that can be now that I'm not thinking at all, and just go there to play. So I feel confident.

Q. Was there something that you were trying to avoid in order not to make the injury worse today, something that maybe you didn't do?
SIMONA HALEP: No. I play normal.

Q. Can you look ahead a little bit to your next round, to the second-round match, you're playing Tatjana Maria, a German who's also mixing up shots quite a bit, plays a bit of a heavy spin on forehand, slice on the backhand, not the usual game out there. What do you expect? What's going to be key?
SIMONA HALEP: I played when I was junior against her in Spain at 75, so I remember that she hits a lot of slices. Actually, she hits only slices.

The forehand, yeah, it's heavier. I expect a tough one. Is not easy to play with someone that mixes the rhythm.

But I feel good with my legs, so I will run. I feel confident also with my shots. I played really well today. Serve is good. So I'm ready to play the next round, and, you know, I didn't play against her since many years ago, so it's gonna be a big challenge for me. Second round, French Open, I'm just looking forward and to give everything to win it.

Q. Aside from the injury, you have come into this tournament playing some of your best tennis with better results coming into a slam than ever before. With that, how did you feel out there in terms of dealing with the pressure and all of that stuff?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I don't feel pressure. I'm not thinking that I'm favorite, like everyone says.

I'm just another player in the draw. I just have confidence that I can win matches, but I'm not thinking about the results. Just in the big picture. I just want to take match by match, and of course every match I play I want to win it. Just this is in my mind.

Q. Just specifically about today's match, can you just kind of break it down? What were you happy with? What could you have done better?
SIMONA HALEP: What I could have done better is the forehand, a little bit stronger. Maybe I was a little bit tight. It's like many things happened today, first round, French Open, leg, I didn't know how it's gonna be. A little bit nervous because I changed the court, so it's not easy. I think in everything, I think I did well. I served pretty well after few games when I started to roll it a little bit more.

So I think I was good today. In the second set, she came back a little bit stronger, and she hit the ball stronger, but I was there. I was strong on my legs. And I think I did a great game. Is not easy against her, because I lost in Wimbledon. Also, this one was today.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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