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 7, 2019

Simona Halep

Madrid, Spain

S. HALEP/J. Konta

7-5, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Nice to see you like always in Madrid. The altitude in Madrid suits your game. You came here from Fed Cup. Here, do you feel like home? Do you think that more people watching the matches would be better? Or do you know that this is not only the game but other aspects of the tennis?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I feel good every time when I come to Madrid and I'm happy to be back and winning matches. Yeah, it's a special place for me. Many friends are coming. Ilie Nastase was today there, Nadia Comaneci, many others. It's nice to play in front of them and when you feel like home, you can play better. So that's why here I can play one of my best games.

So today I think it was a good match. Both of us played very well and, in the end, I was a bit stronger mentally and I found a rhythm. So it was a good day and it is a good tournament for me always.

Q. She started out just hitting the ball, really holding her baseline very, very well. From being down a break, what do you think you changed maybe tactically to kind of start to unwind and get the match back on your terms?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, she started very, very well and she was hitting the lines and very deep. It was tough to return. But I knew that I have just to calm down and wait the proper moment and just changing something, which I did, and at that moment, at 4-3, I changed the tactic a little bit, I played more in the middle. And I think it was the best choice in that moment.

And then after I took that game, an important game, at 6-5, in the first set, I had more confidence that I feel the game, I feel what I have to play against her and I'm dominating. So, that made me a little bit tougher.

Q. This is a general tennis question. Now, we are seeing girls like Pliskova, Sharapova. Is it difficult or can you jump? Many people see Suarez is the only little player. What is your opinion about that?
SIMONA HALEP: I have many years already there playing with them and I faced many tall players, so I don't think about that anymore. For me, it's not important to be tall. I feel like I have many advantages with this height. So, I'm not complaining.

I feel fast on court. I feel strong in the legs. And if I'm there in the last five years in the top five, it means that I have enough good things to be there.

Q. It's is the first tournament since the Fed Cup. How is your hip and your body feeling?
SIMONA HALEP: The hip is okay. I have no pain anymore. I had a rest at home. When I arrived here, I got a cold and I'm not 100 percent. But, as it looks, it doesn't affect my game that much. Just that recovery is more difficult. But I'm here to give everything I have and I have no expectations for this week.

Q. You started the clay season obviously at Fed Cup and played those great matches. Here, two matches very strong in your level. Do you remember a previous season where you kind of started the clay season right away finding a level that you were pretty happy with?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I think every year I played well on clay and, after those years, having great results, now I'm becoming more confident into it and I feel like it's my home, the clay court. And I'm not struggling, over-thinking about what I have to do. I just feel the game. I feel good on clay. I slide.

I feel like my level is high, pretty high now, and if I get this out of me, the cold, I think I will be much better for the next week.

Q. Players like Rafael Nadal has talked a lot about, for him, clay is much easier on his body than hard courts. Is that the same for you?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I love clay. I always say that it's much better for the body and it's softer, it is normal. You can slide so the impact and the stop is not that hard, so yeah, it's better on clay.

Q. Talking general about the year. Many new champions. Many times the journalists or the media, we ask for variety, but it's a sign of something for you, or is it very difficult or...
SIMONA HALEP: You mean at this tournament?

Q. No, no, in general. This year, there has been many new girls taking a title, next week another girl.
SIMONA HALEP: It's a good thing for tennis and for the spectators as well. It's more exciting to see many champions. As I said, tennis is open now and everyone has the chance to win and to be there, to be in the top.

Q. Your next opponent is Viktoria Kuzmova, a 20-year-old from Slovakia. Do you know much about her at all?
SIMONA HALEP: We haven't played against each other so I don't have the feeling how she's playing. I will check a little bit. I have enough time. It's a big challenge always when I play with someone that I never played before. So I just want to see what I have to do against her. But the main thing is to focus on myself, on my game, and if I feel it, then I have a better chance.

Q. One more. In terms of the people who have been playing well on clay, yourself and a number of other pure clay-courters. Kiki Bertens is another one who just loves the clay. Then you have obviously Petra and Osaka is starting to play well on the clay...

Q. She likes the clay, though.

Q. For you as a clay-courter, not just a clay-courter, but as somebody who plays well on the surface, what is the challenge of playing against players who are not traditionally playing like the clay game?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I have a few experiences from the past. I can say Sharapova is not a clay court player, but with her game from the hard court came pretty well when she won Paris and other tournaments, also here.

So, it doesn't matter that much at this point how the opponent is playing, how the player is playing. I feel like this court, clay court here and Paris, are harder and I feel like the hard court players have better chance for winning matches on this clay.

Rome is different, is a little bit softer, so there I can say that the clay court player has a better chance to win against a hard court player.

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