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August 29, 2019

Simona Halep

New York, NY, USA


2-6, 6-3, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Do you feel like you were up against a player who gave it her all?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I really think that she played great. She was very inspired of every ball. She came a lot to the net and didn't miss much. It's unbelievable.

Also my return was weak because I couldn't feel the rhythm of a lefty. I don't know, was not very strong the serve, but the ball was moving too much and I couldn't have the feeling, the touch.

Then I think I played a little bit wrong tactic. Maybe I should have hit more lobs when she was coming. She was very close to the net. I was not inspired at all today, but I fought. I thought when I came back that I will take it and I will win it. But sometimes it goes the other way.

I'm a little bit upset because of the tactic and because of the way I played. But it's not a drama. She played really well. She really deserved to win it because she gave everything and she didn't think of losing. She went all the way with 100% belief.

Q. Was it a surprise to you? I don't think she's beaten a top-10 player before.
SIMONA HALEP: I'm not surprised because she can play well. If she comes to the net, if she can keep this rhythm, it's something big. But always when you play with top player, you have nothing to lose. You feel free on court. So that's why maybe she was able to do it 100% correct.

Q. Can you explain how different to play a serve-and-volley player? What does that force you to do?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it was a little bit weird because never happens on tour, to have an opponent that is coming for actually every ball to the net. I tried to play body, I tried to play on the sides. I made also some mistakes.

Also I didn't go through the court that well. I was waiting behind. Sometimes I thought that she's going to hit strong, but was little bit softer. So I didn't have the rhythm. I didn't know the position on court.

I think I have to learn from this match, and next time I'll be much better.

Q. How do you prepare to play someone like this, a practice partner to practice passing shots?
SIMONA HALEP: I played few times against her, and I knew how she's playing. But today she changed. She went for all the balls to the net. So it was a little bit different. At one point I lost the rhythm in the second set, and I didn't really know what I have to change. Even the touch, I didn't have it.

Yeah, you don't train specially for one kind of player. I had in my mind that she comes to the net, and I wanted to do different things, but didn't work today.

Q. When you say that you weren't inspired today, what do you mean?
SIMONA HALEP: Many balls, she was way more inspired than me. Many balls I hit on the sides, she was there. That's why I say I was not inspired. I played all the time where she was.

Maybe she was better today and she felt much better, the rhythm.

Q. In the final set she came to the net, serve and volley almost every serve. Is that possible to do the whole time or is that one set where it just worked?
SIMONA HALEP: If she trains like this and if she has this in her mind, she can do it. I mean, I cannot say about her. It's not my style, so I cannot feel it to say something.

Q. Can you remember a time when you played against a player who came to the net that often?
SIMONA HALEP: Never, never. I never played with someone coming so often to the net.

Q. How are you feeling about your tournament overall? Obviously not where you want.
SIMONA HALEP: I'm used to it. It's third year (smiling).

Well, I'm disappointed. I had expectations from myself that I'm confident and I feel the game. But today was different. I was very close. I had match ball. But, you know, sometimes happens. I have just to look forwards. I'm Wimbledon champion, so I will not ruin that.

Q. You were saying wherever you hit, she was there. Did you feel that you were not able to put the ball away from her?

Q. And she was putting the ball away from you, did you get a sense of that?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I felt like I cannot put the ball away from her when she was coming to the net. I felt that, yeah.

Q. In your previous matches, did she not come to the net as much as she did today?
SIMONA HALEP: She didn't. In the past she didn't come that often. Today was every ball there.

Q. There was a story that she, whether Roland Garros or whenever it was, came up to you after a loss.
SIMONA HALEP: No, Miami. After we played together, she came in the locker room and she asked me what she has to improve to be better. So she put today (smiling). Next time I will not say anything.

Q. You'd make a good coach.
SIMONA HALEP: No, thank you (laughter).

Q. What did you tell her in Miami?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I'm not saying. No more. It's wrong what I said.

Q. Has anyone else ever asked you that before?
SIMONA HALEP: No, never. I was surprised. I liked it actually. It was nice.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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