PRESS CONFERENCE: Simona Halep (d. Kuznetsova) 3R

Friday, Aug 9

Thursday, August 8, 2019
S. HALEP/S. Kuznetsova
6-2, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congrats on the win and just the performance overall. As you mentioned how windy it was out there, you played as solid as you could. Did you feel that way an hour after with how the conditions were and how you just performed?

SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah. I really believe that I played much better than yesterday, even if the opponent was different. Svetlana is playing with a lot of topspin. Brady was hitting very strong. Different players, different opponents.

But because of the wind, I had to be a little bit closer to the court and also to open the court to work with these conditions. I feel like I had a good touch of the ball.

And I’m really pleased with the way I played against her, because it’s always tough and always we have tough matches.

Q. Just movement-wise how pleased were you with how you moved today and how did it compare feeling-wise to yesterday?

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, much better. Still I feel pain in my Achilles, but it was much better. And I felt a little bit lighter than yesterday even if I’m sore everywhere.

One match plus, it’s really important. So yesterday helped me to get through, you know, the physical part. And today, even if I felt a little bit tired at the beginning of the match, then I felt better.

So it’s really important to get few matches here to be better in US Open.

Q. What would be your most favorite opponent to play against in the final?

SIMONA HALEP: Final is very far. Firstly, I have to win quarterfinals. And if I win quarterfinals, I have to win semifinals. So it’s a long way until the finals.

Q. Compared to the other surfaces when you play your first match on it, so the first match on clay, first match on grass, first matches on hard court after a break, does the body feel the worst on the hard court? Does it feel like you’ve just been hit by a truck?

SIMONA HALEP: Train, yeah. Yeah, it’s the worst thing to come after a break, long break without practicing, to play on hard court is the worst for me.

Q. Obviously you’re focused on your own game. But that being said, Bianca, are you following what she’s done this tournament and are yourself and other players impressed with her performance at this tournament?

SIMONA HALEP: If I’m following her?

Q. Yeah. Have you been following sort of her tournament as well? Like, you’re obviously focused on your own game, but have you followed her success?

SIMONA HALEP: Just a little bit today because I had to play after their match.

She’s strong on the legs. She’s moving very well. She’s hitting strong. So she’s playing great.

But I’m not following, like, every match because it’s tough. I want to stay focused on myself because it’s the best thing and I always did this. So I’m not going to change now.

But she’s playing great.

Q. With how much respect and friendship that you have with Svetlana, can you just talk about the personality that she is, how you two are just personalities that can be funny, can be really warm with each other and just in general with other players? Can you just talk about how you see her still battle and still persevere and still just be the personality that she is on tour?

SIMONA HALEP: Well, she’s a great personality, and she always been like this with me. We are friends since few years already.

She’s nice to me. She always sent me some messages when I won tournaments, important tournaments. I did the same. I feel like she’s my friends on tour.

The sport needs personalities like her.

Q. Just building off of that, you faced her eight years ago in Miami for the first time. Given that she’s still playing eight years later —

SIMONA HALEP: Eight years ago?

Q. 2011 is eight years ago.

SIMONA HALEP: Whoa. Yeah.

(Laughter.)

Q. Would you speak about her longevity that she’s still able to play at this level?

SIMONA HALEP: I’m sure I lost that match, no? You don’t know. (Laughing.)

Yeah, we had many, many matches and tough ones. It’s amazing that she’s still playing. And after a tough injury that she had, she comes back and playing at this level. But she’s a champion. She won two Grand Slams and many tournaments.

Yeah, I admire her for what she does. And I hope she keeps playing because she’s very nice and doing it her own too.

Q. You face either Ostapenko, who you know well, and Bouzkova. They’re going to play in a little bit. So can you talk about the challenge right now just physically? And obviously it will only be your third hard court match so far. So what is the challenge of playing either of those two players that play very different?

SIMONA HALEP: The only one challenge that I have is to win the next match. Doesn’t matter against who I play.

And the fact that I’m back in quarterfinals here means a lot to me. It feels like I’m getting back the rhythm which I had in Wimbledon, let’s say.

I was a little bit worried with the holiday that I have that is going to be a little bit tough, but it’s normal to take a break sometimes.

I’m happy to be in this position. And both of them are difficult, so I’m not going to think about that. I just want to go there and to try to play better than today.

Q. So it was a pretty routine win how it turned out, but talking about what we discussed yesterday about Kuznetsova, she’s given you some trouble before. So were you expecting some sort of an easy outing today or does it surprise you, the end result?

SIMONA HALEP: No, I didn’t expect an easy match. But it was not easy at all. Some games were very tough. The score looks easy, but her topspin bothers me all the time. And here especially it’s more difficult because the ball jumps a lot, and I missed a lot with the backhand because of this.

But still I was really focused, and I took this match very important. She’s coming back from an injury, and I knew that I have an advantage in this way. So I was very confident playing against her today.

Q. What happened to your Wimbledon name tag where you had your name tag on for your name after you won your title and you were having your name on your chest for the Wimbledon Club? Do you know what happened to your name tag? Did you post it in your trophy room?

SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I have it, of course. I’m not going to lose it. I worked very hard for that one.

Yeah, it’s next to the trophy back home in Constanta, actually, my parents’ house.

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