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July 8, 2019

Simona Halep

Wimbledon, London, England

S. HALEP/C. Gauff

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Did you think experience was a huge factor today?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I think so also. Also that she had many matches coming from quallies. I think it was a great match. She has potential to be a very good player soon.

Q. Watching her today, did you think about yourself being 15 years old, how amazing it is?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, 12 years ago I was at juniors. It's a huge thing that she's able to play in the fourth round of Wimbledon. It's a great performance. I think if she keeps going, she will be top 10 soon.

Q. There are a lot of players very highly ranked who have not made it this far at Wimbledon this year. You have now. How would you describe the opportunity that you have?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, in my opinion, every tournament is an opportunity for everybody - for me also. I had good chance also in French Open. I didn't get it. So now it's a new challenge, a new day tomorrow.

I will give everything I have to win the match. I'm happy with the way I'm playing here on grass. I improved a lot. The most important thing is that I'm positive and confident when I step on the court. All positive.

I'm enjoying the time that I spend on court. I just want to be the best version that is possible.

Q. Simona, next you play a player who has done well against you. You haven't played in a while. What has made her such a tough opponent for you?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I think last time we played three years ago. Things are different now.

But still she's a very tough opponent. She's confident now, going to quarterfinals in Wimbledon.

It's just a new day. I don't want to think about the past that much. I'm different and I'm feeling different on court. This is what matters. Tomorrow I will fight for my match.

Q. How was your mindset where you're not taking anything for granted at that point of the match, she came back?
SIMONA HALEP: She played really well, the dropshot was unbelievable. Then my challenge was really small out. I didn't panic. I didn't stress myself about that. I knew that I'm 5-3 up. I felt that I controlled the match at that point. I served pretty well in the last game. I knew that I have enough power to finish it.

Q. You think it's good that the WTA has the rule to protect young players of 15 years old to play a limited amount of tournaments or should it change because time has changed?
SIMONA HALEP: I have no idea about this rule, honestly.

Q. She's limited to maximum 10 tournament as year.
SIMONA HALEP: WTA tournaments?

Q. Yes. WTA want to protect the young players not to play too much. She's actually at 12 now.
SIMONA HALEP: I don't know what to say. I think if she did this great result here, she's able to play the normal tour.

But the rules are rules. I cannot comment on these because I had no idea before, so sorry.

Q. What aspect of Coco's talents are the strongest?
SIMONA HALEP: I think she has a very strong backhand. Also the serve is pretty tough. She's moving very well. She's tall, so is not easy to move that fast.

She's still young. I think she needs a little bit more power. But she's a very, very good player already. The fact that she tries to be aggressive, she tries to work with the serve pretty much, with the first serve. Second serve is not soft. I think she has a great game already.

Q. You won the juniors in Roland Garros, then the Grand Slam there. Are you still working on maybe adding different shots in your game on the grass?
SIMONA HALEP: Not really different shots. But I try to improve in what I have already to be stronger on different parts of my game. My opinion here this year I improved a lot. I changed some things. I'm more confident on what I play on court. Also I feel the grass better.

I feel like year by year it's getting better. I'm not, like, panicking. I just want to be how good I can feel this surface because is not easy at all. You never know what to expect.

Q. You've had matches against young players recently which have been tough. Talk about the difference between playing a tour veteran versus a younger player?
SIMONA HALEP: Someone told me today this is the fact that I have to see I'm getting older, that I'm playing with juniors more and more. If I keep playing about three more years, I will have non-stop matches like this. So I'm getting used to it.

I try to motivate myself to show myself that I'm still there, I'm still strong to beat these opponents, even if they play without fear, without emotions. They have nothing to lose, of course.

It's a nice challenge, honestly.

Q. You've talked about this a lot. Your own progress here in the tournament, you seem to be playing very well, obviously the match against Azarenka was a great match. What's changing? What are you feeling?
SIMONA HALEP: More confident. More confident. I feel better mentally. I'm not tired any more. I've been a little bit tired at the beginning of the year. I'm fresh, emotional talking. I started to feel hungry of the results already.

Every match I want to win it badly. I'm trying just to do that.

Q. You've seen some of the excitement about Coco Gauff in this one week at Wimbledon. What do you think she might mean to the tour if she's able to sustain this and improve?
SIMONA HALEP: She will be a very tough opponent for everybody. If she keeps doing what she did here, she's going to get a lot of confidence and she can win big tournaments soon.

I think it's a good thing, a positive thing, for the tennis because the juniors can see that everything is possible. They can get motivated. They get confident there is a chance for everybody.

What she's doing, she's doing great.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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