February 10, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
S. HALEP/A. Tomljanovic
4-6, 6-4, 7-5
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Incredible match. Talk us through that comeback in the third set.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah, definitely it was an amazing match. She played unbelievable. But I fought till the end. I never gave up during the match, and that's why maybe I could win in the end.
But honestly, I'm really happy and proud of what I did today on court for the fighting that I did.
Q. From 2-5, what was the difference?
SIMONA HALEP: I think I got relaxed a little bit more. I talked to my team after the match, and they told me that I should have played like I did those games, because my arms were more relaxed and the ball was going a little bit deeper.
I didn't realize that, but, you know, it's good that I ended like that and I got the confidence that I still can win these tough matches.
Q. How do you explain that, that when you were in the most-tense situation, your back against the wall, you were the most relaxed?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, sometimes when I feel like the match is gone, I try just to play, you know, to play like I have nothing to lose anymore because the match, she's leading so much, and I have just to try to relax and to try to do some things better.
Q. Can you explain the noise you made, "Oh," when you sit down there?
SIMONA HALEP: Was first time when I sit down after the match, because I have the shower, ice bath, recovery, bike. That's why I was like that.
But I'm really tired, I admit.
SIMONA HALEP: Relief, yeah, because it was a great victory. I really take it very important. I expected that it's gonna be a tough match and it was more, actually.
But a lot of credit to her. She played unbelievable today.
Q. Can you explain about the atmosphere outside? I feel like finally Australian Open is happening. How do you feel about that?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it's great to have crowd. It's great to feel that energy. Today I felt a little bit against me, because at 5-2 I felt like everybody is coming over my shoulders (smiling).
But it was good. I felt the energy from them, and even if was not 100% for me, I felt it as a positive thing.
So I got that good vibe, and I just could fight more.
Q. I don't know how much you follow your colleagues or other players, what's happening in the draw, but yesterday Ash Barty won 6-0, 6-0.
SIMONA HALEP: I saw the TV.
Q. Naomi, she also played good. But at the same time Andreescu lost. How do you see the draw?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, it's tough to expect that all the top players will win every match, because some of them had to do quarantine 14 days, they couldn't practice. Also, for us, those who practiced was not that easy even if we had the possibility, good possibility to train.
The times are not easy for everybody, so mental part is paying a lot of work this period, and we will see day by day. So I don't really feel like the top players will win every match this period.
Q. This whole day has been a blur, but I was trying to figure out the timing. Would you have seen, have a chance to see any of Venus' match when she appeared to be injured and somehow gutted out the second set and at least finished?
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't really watch, because I was getting ready for the match. I just saw the score, and I really thought that she had something wrong in her body, because Venus cannot lose with that score. She has a huge serve, huge game.
But definitely I think she was injured.
Q. You seemed quite agitated, a little stressed out in the first two sets, talking a lot and you said on the court that you were quite negative. Was there any reason for that other than the score and that Ajla was playing well? Were you feeling already nervous going out on the court?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I felt already nervous before the match and probably that's why. I was talking nonstop, and I was talking negative. And also I have to apologize to my team because I was very negative with them also.
But, you know, it happens, and we talked after the match and Darren said that you looked like old Simo. I said, No, I have improved in something. I was fighting till the end. And he agreed with me (smiling).
So it's a big plus in my opinion that even if I talked so much and I have been so negative I could win this match and I could come back from that score.
Q. I know you're exhausted and you're very tired and recovery will be very important the next day or two, but how important going forward was it for you to push yourself this hard, you know, physically, when, as you said, there is quarantine issues, everybody is a little bit uncertain how their bodies will react right now, but it seemed like you were able to push yourself maybe past a limit today?
SIMONA HALEP: A little bit, yes. Because I felt like my body and my back was cracking a little bit in the end, but I thought that I have enough time to recover until the next match, and definitely I have great memories from the past here with four hours' matches.
So I felt like if I go through this one, maybe I will have the chance to recover and to be fit for the next one.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports