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May 30, 2019

Simona Halep

Paris, France

S. HALEP/M. Linette

6-4, 5-7, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was a great match. I just wanted to ask were you surprised of the level that Magda showed? Because she said that it was probably one of the best match of her career. Would you expect that, or you were surprised about it?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, honestly, I didn't know what to expect, because I never played against her and I didn't know how the ball would come. For sure, she played a great match today. The level was really high.

And I just want to congratulate her, because she fought till the end. I think it's a big thing and for her confidence it's going to be good for the future tournaments.

Q. You said at the end that there were a little bit of concerns about your health in the on-court interview. What was that about?
SIMONA HALEP: I felt a little bit sick. I had some lemon during the changeovers. But it's just stomach problem. Nothing dangerous.

Q. You exchanged nice words at the net. I'm curious what she said that made you laugh?
SIMONA HALEP: Come on. I don't want to say. But was a nice thing.

Q. The first-round match and this match you came up against two players who played really strong second sets in particular. They really raised their level. What has your mindset been kind of going into the final sets? Because you have handled them quite well, but I could understand why it might be easy to panic, you know, in those moments.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, this match was different, because I was up and I had match points. So I had the confidence to win the match. I knew that I'm able to win it. So in the third set, I said that I have to stay calm, to still playing what I played also, both sets, doesn't matter -- didn't matter that I lost the second one. I just tried to open the court more, because from closer to the body, she played really, really good.

And then I tried also to play with the first serve more. I think mentally I was stronger and I could win this match.

Q. What do you think the biggest challenge is: Winning a Grand Slam or defending it as the champion?
SIMONA HALEP: Hmm. I would love to win this one again, honestly. But is not that easy, and it's really far. So I will not talk about this.

In my career, of course, I would love to win one more Grand Slam, but also medal in Olympics.

So I'm working every day to get better and we will see what is gonna happen.

Q. Yesterday Kiki Bertens had to pull out of the tournament with being sick. But I'm curious, from your experience, what's the biggest tournament that you had where a piece of bad luck or a stomach virus or whatever it is kind of knocked you out and was the most disappointing experience?
SIMONA HALEP: Last year Singapore when I couldn't play. But I never had something like feeling sick and I cannot play. It was a injury, hard injury. So in Singapore, the back, I think was the only one.

Q. At the beginning of the match, the crowd was quite neutral. After, let's say, a second set, they were with Magda. How important for you is to focus on the 100% still and to not even see that the crowd around you is sometimes against you?
SIMONA HALEP: Sometimes I like when is against me, because it motivates me. But I also love when they are with me (smiling).

Depends of the moment. But today was a good moment.

Q. As the champion, there is lots of attention on you, and people are...
SIMONA HALEP: You have something with this thing, this champion thing. It's far.

Q. I am celebrating it. I just wanted to know, of the first few days of Roland Garros, how your experience compares to the first few days last year at Roland Garros, whether it feels differently or whether it feels the same?
SIMONA HALEP: It's good I'm still in the tournament, first thing. And the second one is different because I can enjoy more. I'm more relaxed.

I have the title already, so now it's just to see if I'm able to do it again. I motivate myself every day, and I try to push myself every day.

So I think it's more beautiful this year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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