April 27, 2021
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How difficult is it to put aside what happened in Stuttgart and focus going forward on Madrid?
SIMONA HALEP: It's not difficult. I mean, I'm used. I have experience how to get over a tough loses. But now, yeah, I'm okay. Of course, few days you are sad, disappointed a little bit about the game and about the result. Then for me, every time in my mind is that tomorrow is a new day.
I've been back on court yesterday already. Yeah, I feel good. I feel happy to be here. My game looks good. I have nothing more to ask.
Q. Your thoughts on the draw?
SIMONA HALEP: I haven't seen it. Just against who I play. It's a tough match. I played against her in French Open last year. I know that she loves clay. It's going to be a tough battle. If I won once against her means that I have my chance. I will fight to win the match.
Q. Talk a little bit about what this tournament has meant to you in your career.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I have received many wild cards in the past and I didn't win a match when I got a wild card. Then first time when I got in by myself, I did the final. So starting that moment I had confidence every time I came here that I can play good tennis, and I did. I have great results in the past, great memories.
Also the conditions and everything that is here makes me happy. I feel like home. It's a nice tournament. I was waiting actually two years to be back here.
Q. Does it feel at all closer to normal with the clay season being much as it was in the past? Is this maybe the first time in the last two years the season has felt like it normally does?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it feels a little bit normal. It feels like it's the normal clay court season because I started in Stuttgart and then I came here. Next week we'll go into Rome. Yeah, it feels more normal. I'm happy about it. Last year was pretty tough.
Q. Specifically the altitude in Madrid makes the balls bounce higher, conditions trickier. What has been the key for you in terms of adjustments to figure how to play your game effectively here?
SIMONA HALEP: I think these conditions help me because the ball flies a little bit more, so I have an extra power. I didn't really do much different than normal clay court or normal place that I play. I just feel the ball.
I think it's about confidence and being in the past, like, confident and having a great game in these courts. I feel like every time I step on them I am good. I'm not thinking at all that I'm going to struggle here. Doesn't matter the result. The result doesn't matter. Just about myself, how I feel on court.
Q. Obviously Madrid is a special place for you. Given the circumstances, going back to Madrid, how does it feel? A little bit at home? More special because of the circumstances?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it feels special. I feel like home definitely. Great conditions, great people around me. They make everything to make me feel good.
Yeah, I'm happy to be here in Madrid again.
Q. How is it going with the bubble?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it's not easy at all. It's tough to be in the bubble every week. But we have to be thankful that these tournaments are happening. It's a privilege actually to be playing in these times, these hard times that we pass.
But everyone I think is struggling a little bit to stay only in the hotel. But it's fine. I think it will be normal soon.
Q. You said it's a privilege. Expand a little bit on that. Does it take off a little bit of pressure?
SIMONA HALEP: I have few years that I don't feel the pressure any more, negative pressure. But in these times it's a little bit heavy to stay in the hotel and to come only the courts. You cannot relax in the city as we did before.
But, yeah, as I said, it's a privilege that we can actually play these big tournaments. Here will be crowd a little bit, as I heard. It will be nice. No matter the conditions are, it's really good here.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports