At the post-match press conference on Friday, Simona Halep was pleased with the game level she had displayed in the QF against Jaqueline Cristian (6-1, 6-1), and also because she could manage the back pains which appeared in her previous match.
“It was a very good match, I’ve played what I had to play. My serve was really strong, I returned well and I moved pretty well, considering my back problem. It wasn’t as painful as yesterday. I felt it a little bit while returning, but I ignored it and I did my job.”, Simona said.
She thinks this semifinal, second of the season after Stuttgart, has a special significance for her: “This result is very important. Playing some good matches, even very good, gives me confidence that I can reach the level I want. I’ve worked so hard in the last months and this comes as a confirmation that I’m training properly. It matters more to me because it happens in Cluj. Home is the hardest place to play in, but also the best. I am happy to be home and to have so many nice people around me that are rooting for me.”
Simona also explained how she is dealing with the physical issues: „Yesterday I was a little scared, but then I realized pain will remain at the same level, so I have to be careful, to not bend too much so I won’t aggravate it. I tried to stay strong on my feet, to do everything by my feet and arms, and to involve less of my upper body. I did the same today, and it was much better. Two treatment session also mattered a lot. I still have some pains, the pain gets stronger as the area cools down. I will have more treatment and hopefully I will sleep well.”
Simona encouraged Jaqueline Cristian to keep working. “She had a good season, she is playing solid, serves very good, so she has to keep working. Work is the only thing that brings one up. Romanian tennis is having a great time, there are many girls who play well. Jaqueline closed in to Top 100, she deserves to be there considering her game. We are going through an auspicious time and if each one works harder, I’m certain we could get better results”, Simona added.
Double Grand Slam winner believes she can reenter the battle for the most important tennis trophies:“Of course! This is the reason I keep playing. It still motivates me and I will continue to play because it gives me a lot of joy. It would be wonderful to win another Slam, but I don’t want to pressure myself. I just want to gather more matches, to feel the game again, and to not be afraid when running on court. What happened here is a good sign for me. I do not know what January will bring, I still have two training months until then, so I hope things will be the way I want them.”