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August 6, 2019

Simona Halep

Leylah Fernandez

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


1-6, 6-3, 10-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you guys talk about your first experience playing doubles together.
LEYLAH FERNANDEZ: Well, I liked it a lot that Simona is a great champion, so thank you for playing with me.

And I've just learned a lot from her. She's a great player. And just having an opportunity to play with her is great, and I'm happy that we were able to play together today.

SIMONA HALEP: Well, for me it was great to play with a very young player, and she played really well today, so congrats.

And be positive. You have a good future ahead. So good luck for the next tournaments and be confident.

It was great to play with her, and hopefully in the future we have many other chances.

Q. Simona, what was it like to play with someone as young as Leylah and just in terms of the advice that kind of you would offer her just from a concrete level in terms of her career at the moment?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, she played great today, so no advice from me about any. Just being confident that she's there and she feels the game at the highest level. It's a good thing. It's a good start. So she has everything to do well in tennis, so she knows what she does.

You know, it was a good experience for me too. I felt a little bit old on court, ten years older than her.

LEYLA FERNANDEZ: You're not old. Don't worry. You're very young.

SIMONA HALEP: It was nice. It was nice.

Q. Simona, has Leylah given you any advice on the court or off the court?
LEYLAH FERNANDEZ: I think just her presence has just motivated me a lot. Honestly, really nervous at the beginning, but she just really calmed me down, just saying that whatever you want to talk about, just tell her, and that helped me.

So she's a great player and, like you said, hopefully we can have many more opportunities in the future.

SIMONA HALEP: I have to learn how I calmed down her, because I need to calm down myself sometimes. So I will take a look about that.

Q. Leylah, what was your favorite moment about this whole experience?
LEYLAH FERNANDEZ: I think it was just Tennis Canada who has given me this opportunity in general. That even if I would have played the qualification, it would have been great, but the main draw is a bonus for me.

I've learned a lot from my match yesterday. And even today playing with Simona was great, so thank you again and good luck tomorrow.

SIMONA HALEP: Thank you.

Q. Simona, question for you. It's about another Canadian. Bianca Andreescu has talked about how you have been a big idol for her and how you kind of convinced her to go pro back in the day or a few years ago. Can you talk about your relationship with her and what you make of her game and potential long-term?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I didn't really gave her -- I didn't give her really advice. I just told her that she's able to go pro as soon as possible because she's strong. She knows how to play at this level. So that's why I told her at that moment.

And now she was injured, and that's tough for her to come back at the highest level, but I'm sure that she's going to touch it again. Because if she skip working, she has the biggest chance to come back and to be strong again.

Her title in Indian Wells meant a lot for everybody, and for her, I think, the most. Gave her confidence and showed her that she's able to do that.

Lately, I haven't seen her, and I didn't have the chance to talk to her, but we just met a few seconds and she congratulated me for Wimbledon. She's a nice person and I wish her good luck.

Q. Simona, how did you feel on court today, your first official match after Wimbledon?
SIMONA HALEP: Not easy at all. It was tough. I was nervous, honestly. I had a long break back home. So it was tough to get the rhythm back.

But in my opinion, I played okay today. I played decent. And I made some important mistakes, but that's it. I have to learn from this match and to be better tomorrow.

LEYLAH FERNANDEZ: You're not the only one who made important mistakes, so...

Q. Just a question for you both. Leylah, you alluded to it yesterday, how you guys set up this whole arrangement. So how did the conversation go and with Simona offering to play with you and just how that went about happening.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I asked the tournament director about playing doubles here, if he has someone. He recommended me a few players by e-mail. And I picked Leylah because I heard that she's very ambitious. And she just won the French Open, and I remember that I did that 10 years ago.

So I just wanted to play with her and that was it. Nothing else.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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