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Simona Halep quarter-final

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Simona Halep speaks to the media following her 6-4, 6-0 victory over Sabine Lisicki

Q.  What suddenly changed for you?

SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, it was a great match for me today.  I played really well and I'm really excited that I can play semifinals tomorrow.

I like this tournament and I feel really well here.  I'm looking forward for the next round just to play good tennis and to try my best on court.

Q.  What changed today?  You were 4-1 down and then didn't lose a game.

SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, she started really well the match.  She was serving very strong.  Then I was a little bit lost on court.  But in the beginning only.

Then I wanted just to keep more rallies, point by point.  I did really well.  I came back very well.

Then I found my way to play and my style.  I stayed very aggressive, very close to the baseline, and I did my game.  I opened the court very well and the angles, as well.

Q.  You're playing Eugenie Bouchard in the next round.  You played her in Indian Wells this year.  What did you learn from that match?

SIMONA HALEP:  Here it's different because it's grass court.  A big difference between matches.

But tomorrow, it's another day, so will be different match.  But I have confidence in myself.  I believe that I can win, but I expect a tough match.  She's a great player and she's playing really well, so I have just to enjoy it.

I learned from that match that I have to keep fighting till the end.  At that moment I won, so we'll see tomorrow what will happen.

Q.  Back into the semifinals.  Does it feel different this time than it did in Paris?

SIMONA HALEP:  Yes, sure, because it's second time.  Now I have more experience and more confidence in myself.

I played really well here match by match and day to day.  In French Open was clay court, so I had more experience on clay court.  Here was the grass.  Last year I didn't win many matches.

But now I'm here and I just want to be happy because it's my best result here.  So just looking forward to enjoy.

Q.  Do you think it will be tougher to play Eugenie Bouchard on grass than on other surfaces?

SIMONA HALEP:  I don't know, because I didn't play before on grass against her.  So tomorrow I will see.

I think her style, it's dangerous on grass because she's playing very flat.  She stays very close to the baseline, so she's playing fast.

But I play, as well, close to the baseline and I'm aggressive.  So we'll see tomorrow.  But I expect very tough match because she's a good player.

Q.  A lot of the players said the transition from French Open to Wimbledon is the toughest thing.  As you know, Nadal lost and Sharapova already lost.  You managed to keep playing really well on this surface.  What is the secret for you?

SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, last year I had the chance to play from clay court immediately to grass court, and I won both tournaments.  I have experience to adapt very quickly.

I like grass, but was difficult at the beginning of the tournament because I didn't have the timing of the balls.  Then match by match and day to day I was working very hard at practices.  Just I wanted to find my feeling.

I did really well.  I played match by match better and better.  It's not easy to come from clay court to grass court, but I feel good.  I can say just that I can adapt very quickly.

Q.  You said on television that was the best you've played.   Did you mean during this tournament or this year?

SIMONA HALEP:  During this tournament.  I played my best match today.  I came back very well from 4-1.  She played really well at the beginning, but then I was controlling all the match.

I was really happy that I could play better than yesterday.

Q.  Do you think playing Lisicki is good preparation for playing Bouchard?  They're both big hitters.

SIMONA HALEP:  I didn't take this match like preparation because she's a very tough player.  She played finals last year, so I expected very tough match.

But, you know, my feeling was on court today and I could win in two sets.  The next round will be very tough, but I don't expect that I win that match.  So I just want to play my best and to see how good I can play on court.

It's tough match, and I just want to be focused to play it.

Q.  You saw what happened to Sabine last year.  She played fantastic, beat Serena, got to the final, and found the occasion too much.  Happened to Agnieszka before that.  Are you confident you can handle the pressure of being at this stage of Wimbledon?

SIMONA HALEP:  Yes, I can handle the pressure.  I don't feel now pressure because I have experience from Australian Open also quarterfinals and the French Open finals.  I feel very relaxed now.  I'm focused, as well.  I just want to enjoy every match.

I don't want to think that tomorrow I play semifinal.  I just want to keep my body very cool just to think that it's first round.

Q.  You've gotten better and better, coming up very steadily.  With these tremendous results, do you think to yourself, Wow, this is really great; I'm at the top of the game?

SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I'm improving a lot in my game day to day.  In my serve as well I did good progress here also.

It's tough to think that I can win a Grand Slam title still.  Doesn't matter if I was very close in French Open.  Here is another tournament, and I just want to be focused every match.

My dream is to win a title of Grand Slam, but is not easy.  Now I feel more prepared that I can win a title than in French Open.

So maybe here will happen, but still I am very far.

Q.  Tell us what it is you like about Centre Court and Wimbledon.

SIMONA HALEP:  It doesn't look as big as it is.  I mean, it's elegant.  It's the grass court.  Also the players, they have to play all white clothes.  So it's amazing.

I have a good feeling there.  I just like the court.  Today I didn't read the message of the door because it's a good message there.  But tomorrow I am happy that I have another chance to read it all the message.  I will tell you after the match tomorrow.

Q.  What are you going to do tomorrow when you have a day off before the semifinals?

SIMONA HALEP:  No, I play tomorrow, so I don't have day off.

Q.  Ilie Nastase is one of the great characters.  The other day he was in the Royal Box with the uniform of the Romanian Army and so forth.  What do you think of him?  What did you think of that uniform?

SIMONA HALEP:  I didn't meet him here, so I didn't see his uniform.  But if he has to wear it, so it's good thing.

I don't have anything to comment about this because I don't know how he looked.

Yeah, I don't speak too much to him.  But, I mean, he was the best player in Romania and he won a Grand Slam titles.  So I respect him, but we don't speak too much.

Q.  Your results over the first six months of this season, do you think that right now you feel less pressure than you did coming into the year given points to defend and pressure and whether or not you could play well at the majors?  Now you have.  Do you feel like maybe the rest of this year you're playing with house money?

SIMONA HALEP:  One funny thing, after the match I told to my coach that next year I will have a lot of points to defend.  I can feel now a little pressure.

But I just want to enjoy this moment.  I don't want to think too much about the points, just to play tennis and just to enjoy every match.

I feel more confidence at the Grand Slams now.  I can play better and better.  I just want to be happy, to be relaxed, and next year we'll see what I can do.

Q.  How many messages are you getting from back home?  How much interest is there in your progress at Wimbledon?

SIMONA HALEP:  They are amazing.  They were amazing in French Open also, during the French Open.  Now I don't know because I just want to stay focused.  After this tournament I will go home.  I have a tournament there.  So I can enjoy the time with my fans, with my friends, and with everybody from there.

They sending me a lot of messages, but I want just to read after this tournament.

 


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