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May 11, 2019

Simona Halep

Madrid, Spain


6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. Can you talk through the match? What were the challenges that Kiki presented today? And what do you think you tried to do to turn that match around especially in that second set?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I think she played better tennis tonight. She deserved to win the match definitely. About my game, I think I played wrong, and I'm upset about that. But I'm not going to make a drama. I'm just thinking for the next one, when I will play against her, to change some things. I played like stupid today, everything that she liked. But it's happening sometimes and I can take all the positives from this week.

I couldn't believe at the beginning I would be in the final, so I will just calm down, I will analyze more and I will be nicer to me because I don't deserve to be very hard.

It was a good match from her. And she deserved to win the title because she played the whole week really good tennis. So, it was a good week.

Q. What do you feel you did wrong?
SIMONA HALEP: I don't want to talk about what I did wrong and what I didn't do wrong, but just that's my opinion. I played wrong and I have to see for the next tournament what I have to do.

Q. When you look back on the past five months, how do you assess your development over the past five months as a player?
SIMONA HALEP: The five past months that I had were good, in my opinion. I knew that this year is going to be a little bit different after winning the Grand Slam, but I'm not that bad. In my opinion, on clay court, I play almost my best game. I played good matches, I have confidence. I have experience from tough moments during this five months.

So, I have learned many things and I'm okay with this five months that I had already.

Q. In that second set, it seemed like you were starting to make the adjustments to bother her a bit more. She came up with some clutch aces and lucky plays. But did you feel as though that was what was happening, that you were starting to figure it out but maybe too late?
SIMONA HALEP: Yes, it was too late and I couldn't return her serve. She served really well. And some balls that I cannot explain even now how that ball touched me and many lines, so, as you see, I'm nervous, I'm upset about these things (laughing) but I have just to take it like it is and to look forward because this week I showed myself that my game is there and I'm able to do good things.

Q. You both kind of are the best clay courters on tour right now. But you also play different styles I think on the clay. Playing her on the clay for the first time in a little bit, what did you see that makes her so dangerous on this surface?
SIMONA HALEP: I think the higher ball that she plays and also the angles she goes very well with the forehand cross. And this surface and this place I think is good for her because it's altitude and the ball is going faster. So I think this tournament fits her and she plays her best tennis here.

Q. Is it difficult to go from Belinda yesterday, who takes the ball early, really flat, to a player like Kiki, who plays high?
SIMONA HALEP: Yes, it is different and it happens most of the time because the players are different, but yeah it was a little bit difficult to play those higher balls instead of the flat balls from yesterday, so it was a big change, yes.

Q. Still you are a candidate for Rome and Roland Garros. Now is a defeat, but it can be, or how do you feel now?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I have no idea how it will be in the next weeks, but in this moment, I'm happy with my game, I'm happy that I could go through this week. It was a tough week. I'm confident, so we will see. I like Rome. I like Paris. But you never know with tennis, so I'm ready for anything.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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