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 10, 2019

Simona Halep

Madrid, Spain

S. HALEP/B. Bencic

6-2, 6-7, 6-0

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Can you talk through just specifically the end of that second set, the tie-break? What was your reaction afterwards? It seemed like you refocussed after that?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I think I was rushing a lot in the tie-break, the first point, and when I saw it was 4-0 I lost confidence a little bit. But then I just repeated to my head that the match is starting now, so I have just to focus on the last set, not thinking anymore about the second set.

But also I analyzed a little bit what I did wrong in the second set and I was sure that I have been too far back from the court and she had a better chance to open the court and to dominate the game. So then I just said that I have to push her back a little bit more and to stay closer to the baseline, which helped me a lot.

Q. I think it was Ion Tiriac's 80th birthday this week, did you know that?

Q. Was there a party?
SIMONA HALEP: Yes, I been there.

Q. Anything you can tell us about it?
SIMONA HALEP: Amazing party and a very special evening and I was really happy to be there. It was an honor, actually. Many good people there, very nice people.

Q. And today's Manolo Santana. We all are connected, that is your opinion?
SIMONA HALEP: Yes, very special day also today. Actually, I wish him happy birthday and I will see him later to tell him that.

Q. This victory guarantees you the No. 1 spot, or do you care about being No. 1?
SIMONA HALEP: I have to win more to get there, so it's not... I don't want to think about that. For me, it is more important to win the trophy here than being No. 1.

Q. In the previous press conference, someone asked you about your height. And it is clear that you have all the weapons to beat anyone in the world.
But in the past, when you were younger and you saw all the players much taller than you, did you always believe that?

SIMONA HALEP: Well, we talk a hundred times about this (laughing). It's nothing special that I'm not very tall in my opinion.

It was not a bad thing because I'm fast. I have qualities for clay court more. I can slide. So I don't see a bad thing, a negative thing, and I have confidence in my body. I'm happy with the way I am and I think that I have enough power inside to be in the top.

Q. You had pretty relatively short matches coming into this one. This one was a much longer one than the last. So how happy are you, or concerned at all in terms of how much physical effort you had to put into it given being sick and everything?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it was more difficult and I felt a little bit tired in the second set when I had to run for some balls. That is why I decided to cut a little bit of court and to be more aggressive in the third one.

It is normal at this level, I expect tough matches all the time, so I was lucky that during the week I had short matches. But always when I step on the court I'm ready for a three-hour match, so I'm okay.

Q. The last tournament you play was Fed Cup. After not being able to make it to that final, how did you reset your mind to be playing this level of tennis right now?
SIMONA HALEP: I was disappointed about that match in France and I suffered a lot. But I just refocussed on my job, on what I have to do, and with these matches my confidence is high again.

All the time when I come to the clay court season, there is an extra motivation and I feel better, so it was a good experience for me that match in Fed Cup and now I see the things different, so it helps me.

Q. I think you have been asked this one before as well. With Madrid, is it the conditions, is it the memories you have here, or is it the connection with Ion? What is it that's best about Madrid?
SIMONA HALEP: For sure, the connection with Mr Tiriac, he is all the time by my side in the last five years. We started to talk after my first final here in 2014, so it's a very special connection between us. And I really get motivated when he comes to see my matches.

And he's very tough with me all the time, also after this match, so I take only the positives tough, even if he is tough with me, and I can play my best tennis at his tournament and this makes me very happy and makes it a special tournament for me for sure.

Q. What did he say to you after the match?
SIMONA HALEP: You don't want to hear that, trust me (laughing). But he said bravo in the end, which is very rare (laughing).

Q. Fair enough. And then you play either Kiki or Sloane. Three of the big finals you played last year were against them. So you know them well. You know they are tough. Can you just talk through what the challenges are playing each one of them?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, a big challenge for sure. Both of them are very tough and, as we see, they are playing very well on clay even if they are hard court players, let's say (smiling).

They feel the ball really great here on clay and it's going to be a massive match because they have also confidence. We are the same level of confidence, I think.

We had great matches during the week, so it's going to be open in my opinion.

I have my chance, but also I expect a very tough battle. But I'm here just to enjoy the final. It is my fourth final here and, after all the trouble that I had this week, I'm really happy in this position, so I have nothing to lose tomorrow.

Q. I was going to ask the same question. You said they are both hard court players. Both Kiki and Sloane say that their favorite surface is clay. Do you feel like you and them are maybe the three best players who consider clay their surface?
SIMONA HALEP: For sure. And I can say that they are playing also well on all surfaces because they won tournaments on hard court, Grand Slams, Cincinnati, Kiki. So I think they are great players. That is why they are in the top. So there is nothing weak that I can say about them.

So it's just a very tough level where we are and we have to enjoy it because we work for that.

Q. You said that you had trouble this week, but with a stomach virus, or allergy, or what?
SIMONA HALEP: No, cold, sick, with the nose. I had treatment yes, antibiotic. I finished today. Maybe I will take one more tomorrow morning just in case (laughing) to keep the routine (laughing).

Q. You have said that you prefer to win here than to be No. 1 of the world. Can you explain to us why?
SIMONA HALEP: For sure. I prefer to win tomorrow than being No. 1 in the world at this moment because, as I said many times, this tournament is very special. And I prefer titles than numbers and rankings. So this is my goal, to play finals and to win trophies, but it's going to be very tough tomorrow.

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