The beginning of this Roland Garros has proved to be less smooth than expected for the defending champion Simona Halep. After battling three sets against Ajla Tomljanovic in the first round, the World No. 3 had to make her best effort to move past Magda Linette with a contended 6-4 5-7 6-3 score.
“Honestly, I didn't know what to expect,” Halep said about her pre-match thoughts on her second-round opponent. “Because I never played against her and I didn't know how the ball would come. For sure, she played a great match today.
The level was really high. And I just want to congratulate her, because she fought till the end. I think it's a big thing and for her confidence, it's going to be good for the future tournaments”. When asked what Linette had said to make her laugh when they exchanged their final greetings at the net, the Romanian delivered a closed answer, “Come on.
I don't want to say. But was a nice thing”. The former World No. 1 also reminded the journalists that her past year’s results do not foreshadow the future, “You have something with this thing, this champion thing.
It's far”. However, she accepted to make the comparison between her first days at the French Open in 2018, and those she has gone through during this edition, “It's good I'm still in the tournament, first thing.
And the second one is different because I can enjoy more. I'm more relaxed. I have the title already, so now it's just to see if I'm able to do it again. I motivate myself every day, and I try to push myself every day.
So I think it's more beautiful this year. “I would love to win this one again, honestly,” the 27-year-old said. “But is not that easy, and it's really far. So I will not talk about this. In my career, of course, I would love to win one more Grand Slam, but also medal in Olympics. So I'm working every day to get better and we will see what is gonna happen”.