June 6, 2019
A. ANISIMOVA/S. Halep
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Did you expect such an opponent today?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I expected. I knew that she's going to play very well, but she played great today. All credit to her, because she made a good match, a big match.
Q. Before the tournament, you said that you obviously wanted to defend your title, but having gotten the title and No. 1 meant anything else was a bonus, but how do you feel going out at this stage?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I feel sad, because every time when I lose, I'm sad. And I'm a little bit upset because I couldn't make my game. I couldn't move normally.
You know, I think she played great. I think that I have done everything I could today and this tournament, I'm happy with the result. It's not bad at all to make quarterfinals at a Grand Slam. Coming as a defending champion, the pressure was on.
But I think I had good matches, and I'm leaving this tournament with positive thoughts.
Q. You said you couldn't play your game. Why? Injured? Nerves?
SIMONA HALEP: Nerves a little bit. Stressed because I felt that I'm playing well, and maybe my expectations for myself were big today. Maybe I couldn't handle the tension in my body so I couldn't play my best and I couldn't move at my best level.
Q. Do you think Amanda can win Roland Garros?
SIMONA HALEP: I think she has a big chance if she's playing like today without emotions and without thinking, like, about the result.
She was pretty calm. She showed that she's able to do good things and big things, so I think she has a chance.
Q. What do you think makes her tough to play against? Is any player which makes you remind of?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, it's tough to compare with someone else. I think she plays really fast and aggressive all the time.
She moves pretty well. She sees the game pretty well. So I don't want to compare. I think she's herself, and she's playing great tennis.
Q. She seemed to play pretty aggressive down the line with her backhand today. Do you have any thoughts or comments about her backhand specifically?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, she's pushing the ball really deep. Sometimes you cannot go from there because the ball doesn't bounce. She puts pressure on the game. And even if she doesn't hit strong like with a lot of power, she hits it very long, very deep, with good depth, and it's tough to return the balls.
Q. Pretty frustrating day for everybody yesterday. At what stage did you know you weren't going to get on court? How did that affect your preparation for today?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, for everybody it's tough to wait, and then the match to be canceled, to go home. Around 4:00 p.m., I think we got canceled and was, like, all day on the couches.
But for everybody was the same. For me, it's a little bit tougher because I cannot adjust that much, that well in this situation. Also in Rome was the same. I take it as it is. And I cannot change the weather, so I have to take it like that, to be better in the future (smiling).
Q. You have said that you will leave Roland Garros with a positive mindset. Do you think that that will give you the opportunity to be more successful in future because you know how to win and you know how to be positive when you are on the court?
SIMONA HALEP: Are you talking about me?
Q. Yes, in future. You have said that you will leave with a positive mindset. Do you think that that will help you in future because you now feel happy about the tennis that you can play?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I think it will help me for the future tournaments. I'm not negative now. I'm not very disappointed.
It's normal to be a little bit disappointed after a loss, but I feel okay, and I'm looking forward to a new day tomorrow. Actually, a few days off first (smiling).
And then to the grass season. Maybe I can make a good one.
Q. Amanda played very well today and she was super confident out on court. Did you expect a 17-year-old to be like that on court? Does that surprise you?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I expected that she's going to play a very good match, because she's only 17, 18. She has all the desire and all the motivation to show her best tennis.
My level was not great. Maybe I let her play her game at the best level, but she looked really good on court. Again, credit to her.
Q. With the semifinalists that are left, two teenagers, Vondrousova and Anisimova, and two players who maybe haven't had the greatest success in the past on clay with Barty and Konta, does this semifinal list surprise you? And who do you think comes through in this final four?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, nothing surprises me anymore in tennis, but if I have to choose -- it's tough. I know Barty has a big chance also because she's very talented and she feels the ball. She played also well in the previous tournaments on clay, so I think she has the game to win the tournament.
Konta is, I think, first time when she wins matches at Roland Garros, so everything can be possible.
The other two, they are very young, so the story from 2017 can repeat. Maybe one of them has a chance to win the tournament.
Would be nice to have like -- 18 both? 18 both in the finals would be huge.
Q. You mentioned you're going to take a couple of days off. How easy is it for you to switch back, recuperate and come back for the grass court season?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, now it's a little bit easier because I have few days off, and then I can go and train on grass court.
You know, it's already, I don't know, maybe seventh year when I do these things coming from clay to grass court. I got used to it. For everybody is the same.
I will not do something special. I will just keep my routine, and I will try to get ready as much as possible for Wimbledon. Hopefully I can make a good result.
But no, no pressure. This year is a "chill" year for me (smiling).
Q. You did say that Amanda has a chance of winning here, but can you take a moment and talk about the future, big picture of her career? Do you think she can get to the very top and be an elite champion?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I think so. Today I felt how she's playing, because before, I never played against her. I couldn't say something more.
But I think she has a chance and she will be in the top soon, because she has, you know, the game. She sees the game, has the attitude, good attitude, so I think she's a great player.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports