Two-time Mutua Madrid Open champion, Simona Halep, spoke to the media today about why she feels at home in Madrid and her current form, among other things.
Her month away from competition: “It was really good. I was with my family at home. We spent the Easter holidays together and I was able to have a good time with my friends. I recharged my batteries 100% and I feel completely ready to start the season on clay here in Madrid.
Her expectations for the clay season: “For me it’s the best part of the season, without a doubt. The tournaments are close to each other, you don’t have to travel far and it’s my favourite surface, that’s why I feel so good when this time of year comes around”.
Her form: “It’s difficult to evaluate it because the clay swing is just starting now. I’ve just played a couple of matches in the Fed Cup where I played really well, which means I’m coming in with confidence. However, in these big tournaments all the players come well prepared and each round will be very tough. Therefore, I’m just focusing on giving my best, playing my tennis and not thinking too much about results.
Her record at the Mutua Madrid Open: “I have great memories of the two years I won here. It’s a very special tournament for me because there are a lot of Romanians in Madrid, also a lot of friends come to support me… so I practically feel like I’m at home. In addition, the Spanish fans always welcome me. All of this makes me feel very happy here in Madrid.
The relationship with her new coach: “Everything is going really well with Daniel. I’ve known him since I was very young. Also, we already worked together when Darren was my coach. To me the most important thing now is that he’s a very good person. We’re doing some good work and we communicate well. I think my game is in a good place and I feel very comfortable on court. This is the best thing that can happen with your coach.
A guilty secret about the tournament: “I love that they let me eat at any restaurant I want. The thing I like most is eating as much chocolate mousse as I can”.