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May 10, 2018

Simona Halep

Madrid, Spain


6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How different a match did that feel against Karolina compared to the last couple of meetings where you won more comfortably? Where do you feel maybe the match slipped away from you?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I think the match was the same, but this time she won it. I think she played really good today. She had contract with the lines and with the net (smiling).

But all the credit to her. She really was moving very well and also hitting the balls, the serve.

I didn't play bad, in my opinion. I missed in some important moments. That's why it went her way. But I'm not very disappointed about this match. She deserved to win. She played better. So next one.

Q. Did you sense anything different tactically in terms of what she was doing? Seemed like she was going at your backhand a little bit more, especially in the first set.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah, I didn't change things during the match. Because of this, I'm a little bit upset. But it's tough when you go on court and the opponent is playing so well. I didn't realize that well, and I couldn't change some things that I had to do.

I called Darren. He told me what to do, but still I was not able to change some things.

Yeah, maybe she changed a little bit, but I think she's playing the same every time. Today just didn't miss. She was running very well. It was a good match, in my opinion.

Q. Have you had a chance to talk to Darren after the match? What was his take?
SIMONA HALEP: He told me what I had to do during this match. He was okay about the game. I asked him if I played bad, and he said no. So it's a good thing.

He said that a lose is a lose, and I have to take it positive. It's good to think about the match, it's good to work on what I didn't do very well. For sure the next week will be better.

I have just to work again and to keep believing, keep playing. It's just a tournament, so I have many ahead.

Q. Obviously you're a two-time champion here. Did that play on your mind at all today? Were you feeling nervous as the match progressed?
SIMONA HALEP: Not really nervous. Of course, I had more pressure than her today. This level you have to be able to manage the pressure, so I didn't feel bad because of that.

Just the game, maybe I didn't play my best game, but maybe she didn't let me play my best game. She was really good today.

I'm not upset. I'm not looking in a negative way. I won two times here. I played great matches. So I take the positives and I go with confidence next week.

Q. You'll have a few days before you start.
SIMONA HALEP: One. I have to work, I just said (smiling).

Q. Does that maybe make a difference in terms of just pacing yourself? Of course, with the trophy in the bag it's easier to travel to the next tournament. But pacing yourself for Rome, Paris, a tight schedule. You probably have appointments outside of that, so...
SIMONA HALEP: Well, it's a busy schedule, but it's the most beautiful part for me to play in Europe, to play on clay. I love Rome, so it's okay.

I'm not stressing myself about the points. I'm not stressing myself about this busy schedule. I just want to enjoy it. I enjoy it. I'm looking forward already to start the next tournament.

There is no pressure. I feel like it's, again, an opportunity to play my best tennis on clay court and to see how good I can be, nothing else.

Q. Are you surprised at all how Karolina has been able to adjust her game onto clay, winning Stuttgart the way she did, now nine consecutive wins on clay for her? Does that surprise you at all?
SIMONA HALEP: Not really, because both of the courts are a little bit different than normal clay. Stuttgart, you cannot talk about claycourt. Here, the altitude is a little bit better. I think it feels like a hard court a little bit.

But, like I said in my first press conference, it's weird because all the hard players are winning Roland Garros and winning here. I don't believe that there is specific tournament for these type of players when they hit all the balls. I think they can play well on every surface, so I'm not surprised in the end.

Q. You seem to be very much more confident in your own skin even after a loss. How much do you think you've grown between this point last year and here today?
SIMONA HALEP: Actually I had one hour to relax myself. That's why I took so long (smiling). No, I'm joking.

I think much better. I don't make a drama when I lose. I played okay, so I believe that I played okay. I cannot be upset. Of course, I'm sad about the lose, but every match is important if you know how to take it.

I will see tomorrow, after tomorrow, what I have to train again. I'm okay. I'm happy. So no problems.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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