September 16, 2020
S. HALEP/J. Paolini
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Can you just talk through the match from your side? How did you feel on the court? Where did you feel like maybe there was a little bit of rust?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I was a little bit tight at the beginning. Actually, the whole match it was a little bit difficult to get the rhythm and to get relaxed.
But it's always tough the first match of the tournament, and she didn't play bad. She played really well.
You know, her forehand actually was strong, but also the backhand. So it was really tough to find out what I have to play, because we never played together.
But I'm happy I could win the match. It was a very tough one. You know, these matches are helping me for, you know, for the next one. I'm trying just to play better the next one.
Q. It seemed like when you needed the big points, when you needed your better tennis to come through, it did today at the end of the second set and also the big points in the first set. Is that how you felt as well?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, indeed. I felt like when I needed, I played very well. And mentally I have been very strong. I didn't give up at all.
Also, I was not very upset on the court, so I'm trying to improve in that direction more and more. Today it was a big plus.
Q. How did it feel being out on Pietrangeli today? I know you love that court. It's a little bit different.
SIMONA HALEP: Yes, it's beautiful. I'm really happy I could play on that court. It's sweet without spectators, but still I got the feeling from Pietrangeli which is maybe the most unique court in the world.
Q. I was just wondering, the other day you said that the global pandemic is making you feel a bit scared sometimes. I was just wondering, when you're out in Rome or Romania or wherever you go, what makes you feel safe?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, the conditions here are very safe. We don't leave the hotel, which is, you know, for the safety, I think it's a good call. It's not easy to stay in the room that much, but we have to respect the rules.
And I feel safer because I'm closer to home, let's say. So it's Europe and it's much easier to travel.
Q. Just looking ahead, you'll play either Anisimova or Yastremska. Can you talk about the challenge of playing maybe more aggressive hitters here in Rome?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, they are big hitters. On this court, probably it's a good thing, because it's faster sometimes.
Yeah, it's going to be a big challenge with the very young opponent. I played against Anisimova last year on clay, so I have maybe to take the revenge if I can.
And the other one, we never played, I think. So it's a good match. It will be a good match. Hopefully I can play better than today and to have a chance to win.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports