home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


August 27, 2019

Simona Halep

New York, NY, USA

S. HALEP/N. Gibbs

6-3, 3-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was tricky about that match? How pleased are you, especially with how you finished it?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, the pressure was tricky today. Winning one match in three years, it's pretty tough (smiling). But it's good that I could go over that.

I was stressed before the match, also on this court that I lost last year. Was not easy.

But I'm really happy that I could manage in the end to play better than before, like previous sets. The third set it was really good.

Q. It seemed as though you got some really good rhythm. She's the type of player that the rallies were long, you were trying to dictate from the baseline, but the rallies took a while to get the points. Did you feel like that actually maybe helped you a little bit?
SIMONA HALEP: She likes the rhythm. She likes to return my balls. Today I hit pretty strong. I was aggressive.

But in the end I thought I have to change a little bit that. I played a little bit higher. I opened the court better and I served better. The tactic was better in the end, so that's why I was able to win it.

She was really in a good shape and also moving great. She hits strong back, so it was tough to manage those moments. But finally I could win the match. It's everything I have in my head now. Going through this tournament, it's good.

Q. She had to miss a few months this year. What did you think of her performance? Obviously she hasn't been able to perform. Did you think if it goes to a third set, would you have an advantage?
SIMONA HALEP: I felt she got a little bit tired in the end. I knew that probably is going to be a little bit tough for her to keep the rhythm very high. The rhythm was really, really high in the first set and second set. The third set it was a little bit better for me.

It's tough when you don't compete. I didn't compete for two weeks. I felt tough when I was coming back, so I understand. She made the great effort today on court.

Q. It's possible for the third straight year we might have different winners at each of the Grand Slams. What do you attribute the parity in the women's game to?
SIMONA HALEP: I feel we are very equal, like, level. Everyone can win any tournament, even the Grand Slams. That's why we have different winners.

Now you never know what is going to happen during the tournament. Every match is tough, first round, second round, doesn't matter. It's the same level.

It's good for everybody, in my opinion. It's a chance for everyone. We have to take it. That's why we are working hard every day.

Q. Does it feel like you got a monkey off your back, a weight off your shoulders, getting the win today? Do you think that changes how you approach this tournament now?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it's very early to think about the changes. But definitely I feel lighter now. I feel much better that I could win a match finally in this tournament.

I'm not feeling great at the beginning of the tournament. But always when I played tough matches at the beginning, then I went through the semifinals or quarterfinals. So I'm confident. I feel like my game, it's there.

I'm moving well. I just need a little bit of, you know, mentally confidence. Now I'm trying to get it.

Q. Over the years you've been something of a perfectionist. Sometimes gets frustrating when you're not able to achieve that level. When you won Wimbledon, some of the closest you got to playing perfect tennis. When you think back on that level, how do you go forward knowing you can get to that level?
SIMONA HALEP: The good thing is that I believe I can touch that level. If I keep working every day really hard, I'm able to do it again. So that's why I'm motivated. I'm still hungry of results, of titles.

I'm sure that with matches and with tournaments I can get back there. Probably this tournament, I don't know, maybe next one. You never know.

You just have to believe and go ahead. You have nothing to lose now in my position. I've done everything I wanted, extra winning Wimbledon. I'm pretty relaxed. But still I have expectations for myself. I'm trying to get better day by day.

Q. Is that a level you can feel like you're approaching or does it just kind of happen?
SIMONA HALEP: No, you have to work for it. It's not just like a key and you have it (snapping fingers). You have to work for it.

I worked for it in the grass season. Also in Eastbourne. At the beginning of the Wimbledon I worked hard in the practice. Still here, even if I didn't play great in Toronto and Cincinnati, I kept working. Now I play much better than those weeks. So we'll see.

Q. You're ranked 4 right now. You're No. 2 in the race to Shenzhen. You have, like, 20 points to defend the rest of the year. That's a very rare thing. Have you thought about that at all? Does that change how you approach not just the US Open but the rest of the season?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, if I'm healthy, I will go for it 100%. I want to finish No. 1. I still have chances, so I'm going to work for them.

I'm confident that I have actually a big chance. I will fight.

Q. Your first serve, the percentage has been very, very high throughout this year. I think you're like the second highest amongst anybody on the tour first-serve percentage, which is rare for top players.
SIMONA HALEP: I don't force that much. I don't have a big power, so that's why.

Q. What changes have you been working on over the course of the last few years? Is it technical? Your placement has been moved in?
SIMONA HALEP: Technical, I worked a little bit on it. I made some changes. Also the tactic plan. I tried to play more with the first serve because the second serve is very attackable for the girls because they like to hit the returns straight. I had to put in my mind to play more with the first serve, which I did. I improved a lot in that direction, it's true.

So today was not great, but I have that in my mind and I want to go like that. It's much better.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297