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June 8, 2018

Simona Halep

Paris, France

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. If you look at the same day but last year and now, how do you describe the arc of these past 12 months for you? What stands out the most for you?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I think is the same pleasure, the same happiness that I am in this position again. It's a very special moment.

And to be able to play two finals in a row at this tournament means a lot for me. As you all know, it's my favorite Grand Slam. I feel like home here.

It's nice to face another big challenge.

Q. What has been your most valuable learning out of the last three Grand Slam finals that you have played?
SIMONA HALEP: That it's just another match. It's not going to be something special. Doesn't matter the result. So I have just to go there, to try to play my best tennis, try to fight for every ball. And in the end, we will see who is going to win.

Q. What, if anything, has changed most in your life in the last year?
SIMONA HALEP: Nothing much. Just normal things (smiling).

I'm still playing tennis. I'm still working hard every day. Maybe I am smiling more.

Q. Yesterday you said you wanted to remain positive and talk about how wonderful the weather was outside.
SIMONA HALEP: Today is better.

Q. And I would like to speak about the weather now.
SIMONA HALEP: That's nice.

Q. Please tell us, what would be the ideal conditions for you tomorrow in terms of the weather, the atmosphere on Chatrier, and the clay surface to help you play your best tennis?
SIMONA HALEP: Anything but not rain. So if it's gonna be okay to play, it's gonna be the perfect weather to play the match. So doesn't matter. The crowd is there, anyway, and it's very beautiful atmosphere every time I play on Chatrier.

It's nice. It's very special that I have another chance to play there.

Q. One of the highlights over the last 12 months was seeing you get the No. 1 and hold on to it. You told us that you wanted the chance to have it and to prove that you could do it. We think you have worn it quite well. Do you think that's given you a little bit more confidence coming into this final now?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, for sure, I'm a little bit different because I have more experience. I'm more relaxed about this situation.

But, you know, you never know. Every match is different, and I cannot expect anything for tomorrow. I just expect myself to give everything I have and to try to play my best tennis.

It's nice that in 12 months I have played one more final in Melbourne.

So I feel good. I feel great in this position. Hopefully tomorrow I will be better than previous ones.

Q. Sloane last year, her US Open was a big breakthrough moment for her. I was wondering, what was your reaction to her winning that tournament? What do you think is the most special thing about her?
SIMONA HALEP: It was really amazing what she did last year without playing, like, 9 months or 11 months. She came and after two tournaments she won a Grand Slam. That's pretty amazing.

I know she's a great player. She's powerful, as well. So tomorrow it will be a similar match to yesterday, so I'm ready for it.

I played few times against her. I know what I have to play, but it's clay so it's going to be different. It's a final of Grand Slam different.

So, yeah, I have just to say that she was amazing what she has done last year for US Open.

Q. There is often a lot of Romanian fans at your matches and they chant and sing all different cheers for you. Do you have a favorite one that they do?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I don't really remember, because I try just not to hear that much what is happening on court.

But every time when they clap and when they are, like, very happy when I do a nice point, it's nice.

Q. If someone was to say that you have more pressure on you tomorrow versus Sloane, would you agree with that notion? And then you also said you approach the final just like any other match. How do you actually do that mentally?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I don't know who said that I feel pressure. Not me, obviously. I don't feel pressure.

I feel that it's a big challenge for me. It's a big chance to win my dream tournament. But this doesn't mean it's going to happen or something like that. I have just to play like I did yesterday. It's a normal match I played against these opponents.

So we will see what is going to happen tomorrow, but I just want to be smiling on court.

Q. You have a better record, 5-2 record against Sloane. You have beaten her both times you have played her on clay. Does that give you more confidence, or do you not think about that?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I don't want to think about that because, as I said many times, it's a different match, different situation. Both of us will be ready to give everything we have.

But I believe in my chance. I believe that I have the game to win the match. But you never know. I just want to wait and to see tomorrow how it goes.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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