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September 25, 2020

Simona Halep

Paris, France

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: We will start with questions for Simona.

Q. How is it coming back to Paris? What are the feelings like at Roland Garros?

SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah, it's nice to be back in Paris. I love this tournament. I love this place. But it is a little bit too cold, to be honest. Hopefully we get used to the weather.

I feel good. I feel confident. But you never know. So I will take day by day and I will try to give my best actually every day to get ready for the tournament.

Q. When you were in Rome you said you always dreamt of winning, and your dream came true. You've already won at Roland Garros. Do you dream of winning at Roland Garros again? Before and during a tournament, do you ever have any strange or crazy dreams?

SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah, every tournament I play, it's a dream to win it. French Open is very special because was the first Grand Slam. It will stay forever like this.

Of course, every time I come here I have the desire to play as good as possible and to go till the end. But as we know, every match is a battle, every match is very tough. I'm not thinking about the title right now. I'm just thinking to play my best every day I step on the court.

So no other dreams for the moment (smiling).

Q. Do you ever have any strange or crazy dreams before or during a tournament?

SIMONA HALEP: No, I don't. I just want the weather to be better soon because, yeah, I struggle with the cold.

Q. Tell us a little bit more about the conditions in which you have trained during the lockdown back in Romania. You are in very good shape right now.

SIMONA HALEP: Well, in the lockdown nobody was able to train, so I did some exercises home. After we were allowed to go out, I just did gym every day and I worked on the tennis court a little bit more. Just a lot of strength in the gym. Nothing special, nothing different.

Just maybe I worked a little bit more professional and more intense.

Q. On the conditions, it being much cooler in Paris this year obviously for the tournament, how have you been finding that's impacting it? I think there's new balls as well. How does that all impact how you are finding the ball playing and the conditions at Roland Garros this year?

SIMONA HALEP: Well, when it's cold, it's a little bit heavier and a little bit different. It's a big difference between Rome and here, that's for sure. 15 degrees less (laughter). I feel the cold. I feel like struggling a little bit. But for everybody is the same.

I don't really get the feeling, exactly the feeling, I should have in two, three days because I practice only about one hour, one hour and a half. After these two days that I still have for practice I will know better.

Every time I play on these courts I like because they are a little bit harder and the ball bounces a little bit more. The conditions are good for me, in my opinion. I keep the positive way of thinking.

Q. Many people are saying that you are the favorite for Roland Garros this year. How does that make you feel?

SIMONA HALEP: I'm honored to hear that I am the favorite, people thinking that I'm the favorite. But I don't look in that direction. I know that most of the players are favorite because everyone is working hard, everyone is ready for this tournament. So I'm not going into that too much.

I just try to play my chance, try to play every match, and we will see how is going to be in the end.

Q. How different does it feel this year being at Roland Garros for a slam since the restart? You didn't play at the US Open. Does it feel that different being there in 2020 than 2019 or 2018 and why?

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it feels very different. The first reason is I played about five, six months on the clay, so it's a lot. We don't used to play like that the normal year. I love the fact that I can play on clay. It's where I feel the best.

To play Roland Garros in September, end of September, it's a little bit weird. But it's nice that we have the chance to play at this tournament. We should actually thank everyone for fighting so hard to do it possible.

Let's see now who is going to be ready for it.

Q. Is being one of the favorites this year adding extra pressure?

SIMONA HALEP: No, it's not extra pressure. I'm used to this kind of pressure because I've been No. 1 seeded in the past. I've been in this position. So, no, I take it in a right way, and I take it as a normal tournament.

So no extra pressure for me, it's just a positive pressure that I have.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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