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June 7, 2018

Simona Halep

Paris, France

S. HALEP/G. Muguruza

6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. This time no real nerves at the start of the match? You started strongly. Then she threatened to come back. How did you raise your level?
SIMONA HALEP: I think was very good level, the whole match, even if the first set was 6-1. She didn't give up a point. So it was very nice to play like that.

I'm really happy that I could beat a player like Muguruza. She's a great opponent, a great player. And it's always tough against her.

I think I played very well. And even if I repeat it, I played the best match here. So every day I play better and that makes me happy.

Q. In terms of most satisfying wins of your career, does this one rank pretty high for you?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it's maybe the second one, because one first is against Sharapova.

Q. You finally found the secret, how to play a great first set today. Do you want to share the secret with us, or do you want to keep it to yourself so you can use it again in the final?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I will keep it for the final and after I will tell you (smiling).

Q. During this tournament, you struggled a bit to start your match but not today. You start very strong. I just want to know if you make something different during the warmup or...
SIMONA HALEP: No, everything was the same. You know, sometimes it's working well, sometimes not. But if you finish the match in a good way, doesn't matter that much.

But, yeah, today was just I felt good on court, I felt positive, and I started to play very well since the beginning.

So it was good.

Q. It will be your fourth Grand Slam final. What will you do different than last ones? Can you tell us, what is your biggest progress since the first final you played?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I don't know what I will change. Probably nothing, because I will keep my routine.

I have more experience now. I feel calm. I feel that I have to enjoy it today, the victory, because it's a great match.

And I have two more days until I will play the final. So I will stay chill. I will relax. And then we will see what is going to happen Saturday, but for sure I will fight for every ball.

Q. Yesterday you said you started with a bad game plan, but then you found a good game plan. What was the starting good game plan today?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I knew that I have to be aggressive like her. I knew that she's gonna start the match with a lot of power.

I was strong on the legs. Also I pushed her back. I feel like I played so well opening the court, as well, and also to hit the ball. So today I just hit the ball. I didn't push at all. It was a good tactic.

Q. You either play Sloane Stephens or Madison Keys. Could you just give us your opinion on those two players when you face them in the final?
SIMONA HALEP: I think they are pretty similar. They have a strong game, both of them. I play many times with them.

So it's going to be a tough one. Of course it's the final of Grand Slam, so it cannot be easy.

I will focus on myself, like I did every match here. And I will try just to be calm during the match and try everything I can. Because it's a nice opportunity, a big challenge, so I have just to feel happy after the match that I gave everything.

Q. How big was that game at 4-All where you held after maybe 10 or 12 minutes? How much do you feel the experience you have gathered in the past 12 months helped you to do just that?
SIMONA HALEP: I think was the most important game of the match. The fact that I could win that long game, I won the next one easy, so it was a little bit of mental part in the last game.

But there I just didn't give up. I was a little bit upset of what I have played those points. I had, I think, two double faults, so it was a bit tough.

But I stayed calm. I stayed focused. And I didn't give up, which is the most important thing in my game. And then I was very confident that I can finish.

Q. If it is Sloane, you played her a couple times last summer, Canada and Cincinnati, I think, semifinals, both those tournaments. What do you remember of those matches?
SIMONA HALEP: I know that she's strong opponent. She's hitting the ball. I will be similar to today. I will play my game against her, as I did last year.

It's clay. It's different. It's different match, different year. So I expect nothing. I just want to go there and try to keep my tactic and keep my positive things every second.

Q. Over the last few months, you have kind of said that you may not win this tournament, you may not win at all, a slam, before your career is over. I'm curious how you have come to that conclusion or that thought, and do you really feel that way? You're one win away again, but is that how you feel? Do you have to let it go? And how close are you to letting it go?
SIMONA HALEP: For sure I will let it go, and I will not think about Saturday's match. Of course, like I said, it's a big opportunity, it's a big chance, but you never know.

So I lost three times until now and no one died, so it will be okay (smiling).

But I will be, I think, more confident, because I have a lot of experience. But in tennis, you never know, so I will stay chill.

Q. Just on that, what did you learn from those three losses? And if...
SIMONA HALEP: Can we change the subject? (Laughter.) Let's talk outside. It's beautiful weather. (Laughter.)

Q. How did you move forward? Do you think if you win on Saturday it will make you more relaxed about your career and where it's going?
SIMONA HALEP: I will answer this question after the final. If I win, I will tell you.

Q. Outside it is beautiful weather, wouldn't you agree?

Q. I will ask you a tennis question, as well, if that is okay.
SIMONA HALEP: Okay (smiling).

Q. You are the emotional favorite for lots of tennis fans around the world because of how they feel about you in their hearts, because of your career so far and what you have achieved and your previous experiences in Grand Slams. Are you aware of all the fans around the world who are cheering you on and want you to do well, and how does that make you feel knowing you have got such wonderful support?
SIMONA HALEP: Okay, let's make a deal. I will play for the fans from all over the world, because I know that many are hoping me to win this Grand Slam finally.

I will put everything I have Saturday on the court. I will think that I will make many people happy. So maybe I will have enough power to win it.

Q. When you qualified today for the final, how did you feel? Is it different than the last time?
SIMONA HALEP: No, it's always a special moment to qualify in the final of a Grand Slam. It's a great moment. It's the best moment in your career, because the Grand Slams are the most important tournaments.

I feel happy. I feel good. I feel that everything I have done until now, the work that I put after Melbourne and everything together, it worked very well, and that's why I'm here today.

Q. Tennis is a world of hard hitters today, and you're not one of them. How much do you compensate with your tactics against those hard hitters?
SIMONA HALEP: I'm fast, though, no? (Laughter.)

Well, yeah, I'm working to improve in my good things all the time, and if I'm in this position right now means that I have done okay.

The tactic is really important, but the most important thing is to focus on yourself and to play your game. If I'm able to play my game every match I play, then I have a better chance to win. If I focus on the opponent, then I lose my game that -- yeah, I lose my game, and I'm not relaxed anymore and I'm not, like, clear in my head.

So I try just to keep it simple and to do what I'm doing at the practice.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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