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An Interview With: Simona Halep (Round 2)

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Q. How hectic is it playing two matches on one day?

SIMONA HALEP: It's okay. I'm used to do that because I play doubles in the past. It's okay. But for me was something new today and it was really, really nice.

Q. Had you ever done two matches in the same day before?

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I played singles and doubles in the same day.

Q. How do you spend the hours in between? I imagine after a match you're in the training room. Is it any different when you know you have to play again?

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, is different. I had a shower. I ate something. Then in the gym again waiting the match, waiting the match before us finishing because, like, were five sets. So I had time to rest a little bit. Then, yeah, normal warmup and again on court.

Q. Does that replace practice?

SIMONA HALEP: Yes. For me, yes. I play doubles always because of this. I want to play an official match. It's better to play an official match than practice.

Q. Was that your first mixed doubles match ever?

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah.

Q. How was it?

SIMONA HALEP: Unbelievable. I liked it (smiling). It was a good experience for me. Was nice match because we won. Actually was very fast. Horia played really well. It's really good to play with someone who cover the court very well. He has so much power. So, yeah, it was fun.

Q. You guys are from the same city, correct?

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah.

Q. How long have you known Horia?

SIMONA HALEP: Like 20 years already, yeah.

Q. Are you pairing up with him with the Olympics in mind?

SIMONA HALEP: Maybe, maybe. Yes, I think yes. But we'll see.

Q. Was it more fun than playing singles?

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah. I was more relaxed first. But I have to take this feeling into the singles, as well, because it's really good and I played well. I returned very well the guy. So it was good practice for me. I have to be the same in singles because helps me a lot.

Q. What do you think made it more fun?

SIMONA HALEP: I mean, was first match ever. I told Horia that I'm nervous before the match because I don't know what to expect about this match. He said, Just enjoy it and have fun on court. So I was smiling a little bit with him. But, you know, he relaxed myself before the match. I told him just to tell me something about this match, how is going to be, because I have no idea. And he told me where to stay. He was leading me all the match, so was good.

Q. The Bondarenko match this morning.

SIMONA HALEP: I forget about that already (smiling). I'm joking.

Q. How did you feel coming out of that?

SIMONA HALEP: Actually, it was very tough match. I didn't know her. I played first time against her. I knew that she is very relaxed. She is mother, and it's normal to change something inside. She was very strong actually. Were two sets, but pretty tough sets. In the second set I did the step behind the baseline and wasn't good for me. I couldn't cover the court like I did in first set. Then I just trying to finish the game. I just trying to push, you know, to stay close to the baseline and just to make her run because I knew that if she's playing close to her body, she is very strong.

Q. Even though it makes it more hectic when you play mixed doubles, do you think in some ways this could be a strategy to help you relax? You're in a competitive situation, but it's not so stressful.

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, can be a big help for me to relax myself. But I'm already good in the singles. I had two good results weeks before. Now I'm very relaxed when I go on court. I believe in myself. I have confidence that I have a good game. It's okay. But I'm not thinking to play every Grand Slam mixed. Here I try it, but let's see if I will play again.

Q. Was there a moment when you felt like, I'm in the top 10 and I belong here? Was there a certain match when you felt like this?

SIMONA HALEP: Sorry?

Q. When you felt like you belong in the top 10. Was there a certain moment you remember feeling like that or did it just slowly happen?

SIMONA HALEP: I have already two years or one year and a half here in top 10. I don't know. I'm not sure. I don't think. I didn't think about this before. I feel like I'm a normal player. In my mind I don't have that I'm No. 2 or No. 5 or No. 6. So doesn't matter at all. But it's good to feel yourself strong, that you are there in the top. You are second in the world, so means a lot for me. But still I'm used now to be here. It's not something new anymore. I feel the pressure at every tournament, like everybody has expectations from me, my team, my close people. But still now I'm okay. I'm much better than few months ago. It's good to be in the top and I hope to stay here as long as I can.

Q. You were on the bus on Monday to the site.

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah.

Q. Why were you on the bus and not in a car?

SIMONA HALEP: Because I prefer bus (laughter).

Q. Really?

SIMONA HALEP: I didn't play in that day, and the players who had match, they had the priority.

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