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


February 16, 2020

Simona Halep

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are you feeling entering this tournament?
SIMONA HALEP: I feel great to be back in Dubai. I did a pre-season here. Actually I can get used to this city. It's amazing here.

After Australia, I didn't do much. I just been home about two weeks. I spent the time with my family and the friends and recharge my batteries. I'm ready to go again.

Q. Ready for another title?
SIMONA HALEP: It's very tough to think about that. I'm here just to give my best every day and we will see how far I can go. Definitely I have great memories since that year when I won.

Every match is tough, so I just want to win the first one.

Q. What are your feelings seeing Kim in front of you?
SIMONA HALEP: I was nervous. I told my coach that I'm nervous to practice against her, with her actually. We played five or six years ago a tournament in Brisbane. It was different because I was a different player, different person.

Yeah, every time you can learn from the big champions, and the fact she's coming back, it's a big thing for our sport.

Q. What was her training level?
SIMONA HALEP: It was good. Actually it was good. She's playing really well.

Q. What are some of your memories of Kim besides the time you played her? What comes to your mind?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I remember the first set I didn't really touch the ball. It was 6-0. After it was 6-4, so I got the rhythm a little bit.

It was impressive after she got birth to her daughter she came back and she won a Grand Slam. She's a huge champion. I'm sure that she knows how to deal with this comeback again.

Having three kids, I think it's different. You see the life different. It's an inspiration for all of us.

Q. Were there any splits in practice?
SIMONA HALEP: What is that, 'splits'?

Q. Her movement.
SIMONA HALEP: No, no, she didn't (laughter).

Q. Two days back you were with government officials trying to get tennis back in focus in Romania.
SIMONA HALEP: About the focus on tennis in Romania?

Q. With Nadia and everything.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, actually we support women in sport. We need a little bit more support from also our country. We need a system. We need some courts because we don't really have.

Yeah, we've been all together and had a meeting in Romania before coming here. Everything we want is just to build some courts for tennis and also for gymnastics and many sports.

Tennis is now a little bit more popular because of our results. We've been at one point six in top 100, which is a lot for our country. I hope it's a motivation for the kids. I really want to see more champions and more kids that they really want to give everything to be able to be champions in one day.

Q. Is it difficult to be an icon in your country?
SIMONA HALEP: An icon? Depends how you see it. I don't put pressure on myself. I just want to be normal, natural, as I am all the time. It's a responsibility more than pressure.

It's nice for the kids to see that they can get inspired by me, by my results. I'm always happy to see them. Every time I have time, I spend with them on court.

It's not easy because I have many tournaments, I have to train all the time. After I will be done with tennis, I will spend more time with the kids.

Q. What was your reaction to Sofia Kenin winning the Australian Open? Did you watch the final?
SIMONA HALEP: Just half of the last set. I haven't been home for the rest. I was happy actually to see Sofia Kenin winning a Grand Slam at 21. I think it's amazing. I played my first final I think at 22, something like that.

To be able to win a Grand Slam means a lot. Now she's a great champion, Grand Slam champion. Yeah, I was happy seeing her. Now she has to enjoy this moment because it's very special for everyone. For sure she's going to be strong also in the future.

Q. You obviously have a bye first round. Talk about your potential matchups.
SIMONA HALEP: It's going to be a tough match. I played against them and always been tough. I expect tough battle.

But I'm here, I have two more days to get used to everything here. I'm ready to play a match. But both of them are very difficult.

I will just try to give my best to win the match.

Q. You know Kim is not playing seven years. What does it mean to tennis if Kim can rise up again?
SIMONA HALEP: It means a lot, for sure, definitely. At 36 with three kids to be able to come and win tournaments, it's going to be great.

But it's not going to be easy for her also. I know, as I said, she knows how to deal these moments. I'm sure she's going to be strong enough.

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