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August 12, 2018

Simona Halep

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

S. HALEP/S. Stephens

7-6, 3-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. I think that was your 42nd win of the year. Which parts of your game do you think you improved most to take your first slam, keep that momentum going?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I think I've improved in everything, a little bit in everything. Also physically I'm stronger. I don't do anything special. I am more constant. Yeah, every day I work in the gym. Easy exercises, but I just keep doing them. Maybe that's why I feel so...

I get tired during the matches, but I have enough rhythm and also enough power in the muscles to stay there. Then I think the serve is a bit better. Also my forehand is stronger. I can do much more with it. With the backhand, normally I want just to finish some points. I think everywhere I improved a little bit.

Today I hit some dropshots, which I don't normally do, but because I was too tired. They were okay. I feel like I'm a stronger player in all the ways this year.

Q. How relieved were you to hit an ace on match point?
SIMONA HALEP: I really wanted it because I couldn't finish the games before. At 5-4, I said that I have to serve bigger. During the match, it was a little bit softer. I had a little bit of pain in my abs. It was tough to hit constant.

In the last game I just wanted to hit it, so I was lucky to hit an ace at the match point (smiling).

Q. Why did you say it was a crazy today to your team in the speech in the end?
SIMONA HALEP: I was crazy. During the match I was talking too much. I was negative a little bit.

But, no, nothing bad. Just my attitude was a little bit - I don't want to say - a little bit bad.

Q. What did you say in Romanian to the fans?
SIMONA HALEP: To the fans? You can translate on Google. It was nothing bad. It was something positive for everybody.

Q. What was going through your head when you crumpled down onto the ground after you served the ace?
SIMONA HALEP: I couldn't believe that it's over. This week, it's been an amazing effort. Also I was really tired. I feel like these tournaments, and this level, you have to have actually one day off between the matches. It's really tough. It's brutal, the effort for me. This week it was really tough.

It was raining. For everybody is a little bit tough. But I think it's a good idea if this thing is going to be changed, just to have one day off between the matches. We will see in the future.

Yeah, it was really tough.

Q. After you won Roland Garros, now today Rogers Cup. How do you feel?
SIMONA HALEP: I feel happy. I feel like, okay, I had a big holiday after French Open, but my game is still there, and also the desire to win, which makes me happy and makes me to relax more. It's not away.

I will keep working. I will keep doing the same thing. Hopefully I will have many more.

Q. What is going to be the next competition?
SIMONA HALEP: Tomorrow Cincinnati. Normal schedule.

Q. Was it tougher physically or mentally today to beat her in three sets?
SIMONA HALEP: Physically. First was physically. Maybe you could see that it was really tough to run during the match. But I think the mental part helped me today to stay there and to fight.

Q. What about the public in Montreal?
SIMONA HALEP: It's always an amazing atmosphere. I love to play in Canada. It's maybe the best place because so many people are so nice with me. It was great when I came here, everyone wants to make me feel good. All the people are nice, and I really want to thank them for this.

Q. After you lost the second set, how did you get over the hump and get back in the game?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I can say in the end of the set, I let down a little bit the match because I was so tired. I just wanted to save a little bit of energy for the third one. I knew that I'm going to lose it because Stephens was on the match and was dominating a little bit in the second set.

Yeah, in the third set I just said that I still have some power in my body, I just have to stay calm and try to play smart.

Q. Do you notice any differences in Sloane's game between the French Open, improvements?
SIMONA HALEP: Both matches were crazy good. She makes me play better and better every time we meet each other. That's a great thing for me.

I feel like she him proved in her mental also. She doesn't give up that much now. Of course, she's a strong player. I think she's a complex, if you say in English, complex player. She has everything.

Q. Sometimes it's been tough for players to play as well as they did when they win their first Grand Slam. You were able to win a tournament two tournaments after the French. What do you think it says about your game and where you are mentally?
SIMONA HALEP: Mentally I'm okay. I really started to enjoy more the time on court. I'm more relaxed. I'm not thinking about the result any more. Maybe that's why I'm able to win matches.

I had a long break after French Open. In Wimbledon I was a little bit down, and I didn't really wanted to be on court after that big success. I lost from the match point, so it was tough after that tournament.

But then I forgot everything. I didn't touch the racquet for almost three weeks. I came here refreshed and with a desire to play again official matches, which was good.

Q. Two wins in Montreal. There really is not excuse not to have tried poutine.
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't try. I didn't have time. I had to play non-stop (smiling).

Q. You can do something now.
SIMONA HALEP: Now I actually will go. My physio tried it last night. He told me it's really good. I have to try. Tonight I will. I promise (laughter).

Q. You said mentally it's challenging. During the moments when you don't feel like being on court, what do you do to coax yourself to go back on court?
SIMONA HALEP: About the motivation thing, yeah, I think you ask. I didn't wait, like, 20 Grand Slams to lose the motivation. I won only one. I still have the motivation to be better and to win more, if that's possible.

It was not a problem of motivation in my case, just that I was too happy. I was waiting for that moment for so many years. I had so many chances, three finals before. I really wanted it. When finally happened, I was a little bit, like, too happy and too relaxed.

I had to work a little bit to come back, to start with the gym first, then on court. It was not that difficult for me. I hope I can keep it like this.

Q. What do you do outside of tennis, relaxing, other sports?
SIMONA HALEP: No other sports. I just want to rest, no running, no anything. For five days I've been in Constanta, in my home city, with my niece, staying with her. Actually was more difficult than practicing. She killed me (smiling).

Then I went back to Bucharest where I'm practicing and where I'm living. I did in the gym some work, exercises, but no running. I had some problems with my Achilles. I just wanted to rest.

I did gym exercises and sometimes pilates, sometimes Yoga. I mixed, but not big effort.

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