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July 10, 2017

Simona Halep

Wimbledon, London, England

S. HALEP/V. Azarenka

7-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Thoughts on the match, how you were able to run away with it, but the first set was quite tight.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, well, I knew that is going to be a tough one. Like I said, even she stayed so long, she's back and she's playing great. I think was a pretty good tennis out there.

I'm really pleased with the way I finished the first set. It was very close. The tiebreak actually I played really well. I was remembering the Tie Break Tens from Madrid, so I said that I have to win it (smiling).

I can say that I felt more relaxed, and I just stepped in and I hit stronger.

Q. What's the difference in mentality when you play a tiebreak versus a game?
SIMONA HALEP: Actually, doesn't have to be different. Every point is important. It's really important. In my mind, is just that I have to be aggressive because is about the points.

Yeah, also I'm not thinking. If I lose a serve or I win a mini break, doesn't mean that much. But it's a little bit different. I cannot explain much. It's important to win every point there.

Q. You're playing Konta next. Describe your previous encounters with her.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, we played on hard court and clay court, so never on grass. It's going to be a big challenge for me. She's a good player. She's playing well here. If she's in quarterfinals, it means she feels the court.

I'm here just to give my best. I know that it's going to be very difficult match, like everyone. But I believe that I have a chance. I'm ready for it. So we will see what is going to happen tomorrow.

Q. Obviously there was the Fed Cup game with Johanna where she was obviously in tears and that game had to stop. Have you had the chance to speak to her about that episode yet? Do you feel sympathy for what she went through that day?
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't talk much about that subject with her. Just after the match in that day, I said, Sorry if she felt bad.

In my opinion, the public was very fair. Was nothing to do. Some other stuff happened there.

But, yeah, she knows how she felt there, and I don't want to comment any more about that episode.

Q. There was obviously the incident with Ilie Nastase.
SIMONA HALEP: I think you know. You pretty know what was there. I don't want to comment about that. It's past. It's very far.

Q. Before the tournament, many people looked at the women's draw as wide open, so many different people could win. Now that we're approaching the quarterfinals, what are your thoughts on the wide openness of the draw?
SIMONA HALEP: It's same. It's open. Everyone can win it. I really think that. So we will see what is going to happen in the last day.

But it's pretty far, so we have to take match by match.

Q. You're in position again to be one match from the No. 1 ranking.
SIMONA HALEP: No, I want to win more, not just one match. So I'm not thinking about that.

Q. Is it something exciting?
SIMONA HALEP: I don't know what I have to do here.

Q. Just one match.
SIMONA HALEP: If you told me now, so is going to be one match. We will see tomorrow. Is not an easy one.

I'm not thinking about that because I was in that situation one more time. So I feel that I have more experience and I hope I will not think that much during the match. I just want to go there and to win it.

Q. Over the last few years this has been one of your more consistent slams.
SIMONA HALEP: Not the first one, though (smiling).

Q. Why do you think that is, you're back into the quarterfinals, former semifinalist?
SIMONA HALEP: I think I'm stronger, also mentally and the game. I feel that I play much better than previous years. I feel confident. I feel that I have a chance always when I go on court. I really believe in myself that I can win every match I play.

I think that's the most important thing in my inside, like in my mind.

Q. Will tomorrow have a Davis Cup style feel? Have you played in matches before where the crowd are all with your opponent?
SIMONA HALEP: Many matches. But it's normal. It's something that has to be. I mean, the English people cannot be with me tomorrow. It's not fair, and is not normal.

I expect that. But always the crowd was very nice here. So will be fine. I have no problems with that.

Q. Do you know how long it is since there's been a British woman as champion of Wimbledon?
SIMONA HALEP: I have no idea.

Q. 40 years.
SIMONA HALEP: That's a good thing for England. Yeah, Konta is pretty good player. She's top 10. She has also the future ahead. She's a great player.

Q. What are the specifics about her game that are most impressive to you?
SIMONA HALEP: I think she hits the ball, she stays very close to the baseline. She's aggressive. She's serving well. I think she's a good player in everything.

Q. Ostapenko, after she won the French Open, a lot of people weren't sure she could keep it up because she plays high-risk tennis. She's in the quarterfinals. Are you surprised she's still able to play that gambling tennis?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I'm not surprised, because she has confidence, a lot of confidence. That type of game, when you have confidence, no one can stop you.

I think she's in a good position now mentally. That's why she's still going without problems.

Q. Sometimes when top players play each other, no matter the round, no matter what the rankings are, you get up a little bit more, the matches mean a little bit more. Today against Azarenka, what was the more satisfying thing, that you got a win over Vika, that you made the quarterfinals?
SIMONA HALEP: Just the match, the match that I could win against her. I know she's a very tough opponent always. Doesn't matter how is she.

She has a strong game. She hits all the balls with a lot of power. I was happy that I could be stronger in that position. I made some winners. I went to the net. I was really happy with the way I played and with the way I could finish this match.

I'm not thinking that I'm in a quarterfinals. Of course, it's a great thing. But I just want to take the match, not the result.

Q. After the Fed Cup match, are you expecting tomorrow to be another emotional match between you two?
SIMONA HALEP: In Fed Cup, I didn't have emotional match with her. Was not with me, the problem. I don't expect emotional. I expect battle. It's going to be like a good fight for both of us, and a big challenge for us.

Q. You made a couple of nice volleys today at the net.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah (smiling).

Q. The net game, is that a thing now?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I am working on it. I'm working on it. I was really happy that I could do that volleys. Now I feel more confident in that position.

Yeah, I go for it as much as I can during the match.

Q. What other changes would you say you've made that are giving you the most confidence in your game right now?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I don't believe that I change something specifically. But I just try to be aggressive when it's important, and also to move better, stronger legs. I think I serve better, much better. Also I worked on my return. So I feel stronger also in that area.

I think I worked on everything, not just one thing.

Q. Including the mental approach?
SIMONA HALEP: Mental is on the first, the first place in this list. I worked at it and I'm still working. I just want to keep it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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