Simona Halep was invited to the show “After 20 Years” on Romanian TV station ProTV. The interview was recorded last week and broadcasted on Sunday morning.
Here are the most important parts:
It was a special tournament, my first participation and I wanted very much to win a few matches and try to reach the final. Last season I played in Sofia, in the little tournament of champions, and I said then that I want next year to play in the big one. Honestly, I didn’t believe that but I got there and reached the final.
Before my first match against Serena I joked with my coach that I don’t want to lose 6-0, 6-0, but I said to myself that I don’t have anything to lose and I played very relaxed, I had the trust that I can beat her. The truth is that I think I surprised her because we didn’t played against each other in 2014. I entered the court very motivated and started the match on a high level and I think that made the difference and that’s why I was able to win so quickly. Certainly it wasn’t her best day, but she tried in every moment to comeback in the match. She fought till the last point. The win was difficult to manage, it was a great joy, an accomplishment. It drained me emotionally and I fell asleep very hard.
I wanted to win against Ivanovic, I always want to fight for every point, I didn’t thought for a second to lose so I can eliminate Serena. This is how I was educated and nobody is going to change me.
I think I lost the final before the match had started. I had some thoughts that weren’t so positive, I was very nervous, it was a big final, at Roland Garros I could control myself, but in Singapore I was shaking. Still, I played well in the first set, but in the second one I was tired. Serena hit very powerful, I had no reaction at some of her returns. She is a force and she’s dominating the tour.
About next season and training
It will be a very tough year, I have many points to defend. Next season I want to reach again the WTA Finals in Singapore. My goal is not to be world number 1 today, tomorrow or the next day. I want to win tournaments, my dream is to win a Grand Slam. I don’t know if that’s gonna happen, it depends on many things, it’s a lot of work at a Grand Slam.
I worked a lot on my serve. I received critics on that and it made me prepare even better. I improved all my shots, my movement on court, I’m trying to play what my body allows, my height. I progressed a lot in all areas of the game and I think my mental keeps me where I am now. I think I can reach a higher level in tennis.
About Wim Fissette and the next coach
It was a very good year, Wim helped me a lot, we had good results together. I wish him success, I want when we will meet at tournaments to be like before, to remain friends because I don’t have anything negative to say about him. I have texted him and thanked him but he didn’t reply yet.
About my next coach…first of all, I want to clarify a thing. I consider myself 100% a product of the Romanian tennis because until February this year I was coached only by Romanians. Definitely my next coach will be Romanian (note: Daniel Dobre is the speculated name in the Romanian press). I want to work again with a Romanian, I feel well and he have similar mentality. From what I’ve realized this year, coaches from abroad have different mentality and I like to have next to me a person who thinks almost like me.
For me, it is important at a coach to be a good pedagogue, to understand my way of being. I’m pretty picky as a player and for a coach it’s difficult sometimes. This year we didn’t talk much before the matches, I wanted to be alone, I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but I had results.
About her routine before the matches
Before the matches I stay with my team, I’m never alone. Every time I have nerves, but without them I don’t think I would have my fighting spirit. I try to smile, joke, often I listen music. At the tournament in Madrid I had a song before every match: Marcel Pavel – I fell in love. I didn’t felt well if I wouldn’t listened to it. I’m not superstitious on and off the court, that’s what I felt then.
About Roland Garros and Maria Sharapova
I felt that I have a chance to beat hear, but I think I needed a little bit more trust. I didn’t have the spark to win the final set and at 4-4 it was a discussed point and I’ve lost my focus.
Asked if she was bothered by Sharapova’s habits: Yes. They’re always bothering and I think this is what she aims to do, but once you are more experienced you no longer give them so much importance. For example, at Cincinnati we played for the 3rd time this year and I was more focused on my game.
Simona outside tennis and her hobbies
I am a normal person with common sense. Unlike on the court, I’m a more indecisive person. I don’t have big hobbies, I like to go to the swimming pool, to go and watch a movie, to walk in the park, to read psychology books, not novels or romance books. I like to go shopping, I have a weakness for sneakers.
I like to drive. I drive when I come home, I drive at some tournaments where we have cars at our disposal. But I don’t drive too fast.
(Recently, Porsche has gifted Simona a brand new red Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Coupe)
About her future in tennis and life
I’m still young, I want to play tennis a few more years and then I want to have a family. I intend to stay in tennis until I’m 28-30 years old and then to I want to get married and have children. I love children. At my wedding I want to have a big and very long wedding dress and to wear high heels because I would’ve wanted to be more taller…5-7 cm in plus.
When I’ll have a family I hope to wake up later than 7am, I’ll want to go out in town, to go out with the kids in park, to play with them. I want to keep them away from the computer and raise them with sport, happiness, for them to have a good life.