home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 19, 2018

Simona Halep

Rome, Italy

S. HALEP/M. Sharapova

4-6, 6-1, 6-4


Q. Big reaction from you after that win. What was going through your mind out there?
SIMONA HALEP: I was happy. I was happy that I could play so well and, in the end, win the match. It's always tough to play against her. So I was really happy, and I celebrated how I felt.

Q. Can you just talk us through the match a little bit? A lot of breaks of serve. Both of you kind of struggled to hold. At the end, what was the difference?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I had chance in first set when I was serving and had 40-15, and I lost the game. Maybe I was not strong enough with the serve in that moment.

The serve didn't work that well today. But, also, she's a good returner. So it's always tough.

I was confident to return her serve. And I think I did a great job today, all match.

Then I just changed a little bit the game. And I tried, actually, to be the whole match aggressive, which I did. Even if sometimes I went very far on the court, then I tried just to come back close to the baseline.

So, I think I played maybe the best match on clay. And I'm really happy that -- even if she played her best, in my opinion today -- I won the match.

Q. You had Darren come down after the first set. And you pretty openly stated, Look, I'm worried stepping up to the service line. Because she was just hammering down returns. How important is that, also, just to -- was that for you to have that conversation and to say, Look, I'm worried? Was that like the first step to say, Okay, I'm gonna try and improve it somehow and just address it?

He told me actually after the match that I talked a lot. I don't do very often that.

But I just wanted to tell him what I feel, so I was really honest.

Yeah, I was a little bit afraid because, you know, I serve pretty well. I can serve pretty well. But when I'm not confident and when I'm not relaxed, can be a little bit weaker. So, that happened in the first set.

But then, I just relaxed myself and I said that, Always, my serve will help me. Also this tournament, also in Madrid. So I have just to be confident. And it worked much better.

Q. In the second or even third set, how much was it in your mind, Look, she's played a lot, nearly ten hours of tennis?

Q. Never? You weren't thinking about, if you could get her into long rallies, that eventually things might break down?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I didn't think about that.

But I knew that I'm stronger physically on clay. And that's why I was relaxed as the match was going in the third set. So, I was not worried that I would get tired. I was confident in that direction.

So, I didn't think about her, at all.

Q. What makes you unconfident about serving? You said that sometimes you're not confident.
SIMONA HALEP: When I'm relaxed, when I relax my arm, the serve is going pretty well. So, I have to do that more often.

Q. Is it the opponent's return that makes you less confident or something else?
SIMONA HALEP: No, it's just in my mind. I have to just be aggressive and to hit the serve at the beginning.

Q. Is it, in any way, a special tournament, this one, for you because four years ago it was one of the tournament that --

Q. -- make your career?
SIMONA HALEP: It was the biggest result at that moment. And since then, I started to play better tennis and started to play well.

I was in the top after that tournament, after that year. So, this tournament is really special and, you know, gave me a lot of confidence. And always I come back here with pleasure. So, it's special.

Q. You've got the final coming up tomorrow in a rematch of last year's final against Elina. What are your memories of that? We all remember it as a very complicated match in terms of the match itself. And, also, how will it impact the beginning of your French Open?
SIMONA HALEP: First, it is nice that we are again in the finals, both of us. It's gonna be a nice match, in my opinion.

But, I hope I don't get injured again.

I started well last year, so the game is there. I know how to play. But still, she's a very tough opponent. She's a great player. So, I have to be focused on myself a lot to actually plan a little bit what I have to do. And then just go there and enjoy the match.

It's a great opportunity; it's a great challenge. So I have just to play my best.

Q. What is the toughest part of going from a player like Sharapova, who is very aggressive, to a player like Elina, who is obviously a very different type of player?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah, it's a little bit different.

But, you know, I have to do my game. So I'm not thinking that much how the opponent is playing or how she's defending, how she's attacking.

So every player is different. We are all different, all of us.

So I have just to stay calm, to focus on my game, and then we'll see.

Q. How important is a win like you got today against Sharapova in three sets, the way you played, to your kind of preparation for Roland Garros? Do you feel it is a big step forward in terms of confidence and stuff or not? What do you think?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, for sure, the first time when I beat her was more special. Here, it's first time when I beat her on clay. So, it's also special.

Gives me confidence because I was able to play one of my best matches so far.

Roland Garros is coming but, you know, everything is different. Conditions different; players different.

So, I'm not thinking about that. It's going to be one week off. So I have to chill, have to relax. Then just try to be ready to start another tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297