IBM: See tennis in a new way. Tennis data + IBM = More than the score.Find Tickets Online at ticketmaster

An Interview With: Simona Halep

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Q. Fairly quick match. Just talk about your thoughts and the way you played out there today.

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, actually is first time when I start a Grand Slam well. I had a good match. I think I played very aggressive. I played with confidence and I didn't let her playing her game. So just try to dominate the game. I served pretty well; I return okay. She has a second serve with a lot of topspin and it's really tough to return. But it was a great match, and, you know, it's always good to start good a tournament.

Q. You have had a great run on hard courts coming into this, good results. Second seed. Get out and play the first match in Arthur Ashe stadium. Talk about your expectations coming into this tournament based on the weeks ahead and the way you've been playing.

SIMONA HALEP: After Wimbledon I took a long break, and then I came to Toronto without expectations. Also in Cincinnati I didn't think that I have to play like semifinals or finals, because I can say that I was tired after Toronto. And I played well. So here I came very confident, of course, because I feel the game, I feel pretty well the game, but still I have no expectations. I play better when I don't think about results. I play better when I feel a little bit of pressure, because I'm very focused always. Now it's in the middle. I feel pressure, but still I have no expectations. So I feel great, and I just want to take match by match.

Q. Do you feel a little bit more pressure coming in as the No. 2 seed?

SIMONA HALEP: No. I don't feel -- I'm much better than other Grand Slams. Much better.

Q. Yesterday a bunch of the top players in the tournament, six seeded players, went out yesterday. Did you watch much of that yesterday or pay attention to those results?

SIMONA HALEP: I didn't watch at all, but I heard about the results. I mean, all the players who lost yesterday, I think they had a great year at the beginning of the year. So it's tough to stay focused and to stay like 100% all the year. I think it's normal. Last year I did the same thing. I played very well at the beginning and middle of the year, and then in U.S. and Asia I didn't play so good. So I wasn't surprised. It's normal. Here everyone is playing good tennis. Everyone has their even chance to win a match. So everyone is fighting like crazy because it's the last Grand Slam. When you play the Grand Slam you have just to give everything you have.

Q. When those sort of upsets happen and those top players lose, do you ever look ahead in the draw to see how it might affect you or just take it one match at a time?

SIMONA HALEP: No, I have no idea about the draw. I just know against who I play today; against who I play tomorrow I have no idea. After tomorrow. So if you can tell me, please?

Q. I'm not...

SIMONA HALEP: You don't know. Okay. That's good. They haven't played? Who?

Q. Bondarenko or Putinseva.

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah. They have to play, and then I will think about the match.

Q. I mean, you're obviously one of the high-profile players who avoided getting upset in the first round. What sort of mindset do you have to have coming into the tournament where you're not going to get surprised and get off to a slow start, you know, even if you're playing like a lower-seeded player?

SIMONA HALEP: You know, I had this year already two Grand Slams where I lost in first and the second round, so like I say always, Everything can happen. So you have just to be focused for -- to do everything you can in that day, because you are not like 100% every day. It's impossible. But you have to manage the situation to win the match if you can. So I don't think about this too much. I just want to go on court, and I know that every match is open. The opponent has the chance to win the match and I have a chance to win the match. So it's open and I have just to do everything I can there.