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May 26, 2017

Simona Halep

Paris, France

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. How is your ankle?
SIMONA HALEP: Today is much better. Actually, today was the first time when I was running on court, when I played some points. It's getting better. Tomorrow I have another ultrasound to see if the ligament is still broken or it's fixed.

I feel much better, actually. Looks better. So I hope is gonna be okay.

Q. So this year you won in Madrid and you reached the finals in Rome. Serena, Maria, and Vika are not there. Kerber doesn't seem in good shape. Do you think that you can win here in Paris this year?
SIMONA HALEP: It's a tough question. I'm working to win tournaments, but I cannot say that I will win this one.

I will do everything I can to start this tournament as good as I can, to be able to play this tournament first, and then we will see what is gonna happen.

Q. I guess if you can just say -- are you feeling pain? Are you feeling pain when you're on the court or even when you're off the court? Is there a chance you might not be playing or you're confident that you'll play?
SIMONA HALEP: Few days ago when I arrived here was like 50/50. Now it's more to play, because it's getting better, and the last ultrasound said it's just two, three millimeters broken. At the beginning it was much more. No, I feel that I will play, but I still wait for tomorrow, ultrasound, and then I will decide. But most I will play.

Q. What exactly have you been looking at in order to protect your ankle? Because it's the left ankle, so it doesn't really affect serve that -- sorry, the right one, it doesn't affect your serve as much as if it was the other one.
SIMONA HALEP: It's affecting you. It doesn't matter which one is, because you always have to be on the both legs. Now you hit also open when you go to forehand, so it affects.

But I feel good now. The problem is when I go on the sides. When I go in the front is not that big problem, because the ligament is broken here. So on the side.

I don't know what to say exactly now, but it looks much, much better. I hope is gonna be okay.

Q. You sound sad just talking about this. Are you feeling -- is this disappointing it happened now before the tournament? Now you're smiling, but just talk about...
SIMONA HALEP: I don't want to hide that. It happened just before Roland Garros, which is my favorite Grand Slam, but I cannot change that. I'm just trying to get better soon, to get stronger, because I need that. And to be able to move.

Q. I don't know if you have seen Petra. She was in here before you. Have you talked to her or anything?
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't see her. I'm really happy for her. What happened was really, really tough. But she's strong enough, so she came back fast. I wish her all the best, and to enjoy the time on court. I know that she's very happy now.

Q. How different does the tournament feel when there is no Serena in the draw?
SIMONA HALEP: We played many tournaments without Serena. Last year she played around nine, no?

Q. Well, like a slam.
SIMONA HALEP: Like a slam. Yeah, it's a bit different. Of course we feel that she's missing. Yeah, it's changing, has to change something, because young players are coming. The old ones are going. So it's just a cycle of life, of tour. So we take it like it is.

Q. You were on court with Andre, who I know you have trained with a little bit in Vegas?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, last year.

Q. You're old friends. But can you talk about what kind of the experience of that was like, having him around on the tour again.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah, that's great. I can talk about the experience from yesterday. I was very excited that he will come. I didn't expect him to stay whole practice.

He gave me some advices. He was happy to see me playing better, like last year I was way softer than now.

Yeah, we talked some things. I wish him, like, good luck, new partnership with Nole. I hope they will be okay together, and to win Grand Slams, because I think that's why he's here.

Q. It was mentioned you look sad, but what are you doing to stay positive? What has been the process like to deal with this? Many people have said you're one of the favorites. How are you dealing with it emotionally and mentally?
SIMONA HALEP: It's not that bad. I mean, I'm positive because it's getting better. So I cannot change an injury. I had with the knee, so I have experience now. I had with the left ankle, like, six, seven times I switch my ankle so I know how it is. It is not that dangerous that you cannot play anymore. But still you have to be careful.

I'm sad, of course, that I'm injured again, but I don't take it like, you know, something really negative. Is just maybe it's matter of time. I mean, in few weeks I think it will be okay, 100% okay, because I'm getting better.

I don't want to think about negative. I change my mind after Miami, so I keep, stay with the positive and I take it like it is every day and to see what can I do here. Because it's gonna be tough. But I'm ready.

Q. Ana Bogdan, friend of us, is in the tournament for first time. She's very happy. What can you tell her?
SIMONA HALEP: I can imagine that she's happy. It's really nice to qualify and to go on the main draw in the Grand Slam. She's playing well. I always said that. I hope she can go through to get some points and to go up to the ranking she deserves.

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