It is a long-lasting love story the one between Simona Halep and Rome: the former world number one and Grand Slam champion started her ascent to the top of the sport on the courts of the Foro Italico back in 2013. Ever since, she reached three more finals, winning the elusive Roman trophy in 2020.
“It’s great to be back in Roma because I love this place and I always played well. Preparation was good. Every day I’m working hard. I feel ready. But every tournament is different. I’m looking forward just to start it and to give my best,” said Halep whose first half of the year felt like a rollercoaster of good results and physical problems.
“I can say that some matches I could have won. But, you know, I’m coming after a tough year last year, so I will take only the good matches that I played. Even if I lost them, I really think I played a good tennis. But the most important thing is that I saw I can reach again high level in tennis. That brings me a lot of positive and desire to keep working and to see if I can be in the top again. This is the main goal now”.
And in order to get to the top again, Halep underwent a big change in her team, having joined forces with Patrick Mouratoglou not long ago. The Romanian feels that lots has changed already, in spite of the short time together:
“Also the way I look at what I’m doing, what we are doing. So many changes. I need a little bit of time to adjust myself. But I’m good. I feel good on court. The most important thing is that I love what I’m doing. This feeling helps me to wake up in the morning and to give my best every time I step on the court. In practice, as well.”
The duo is still adapting and the difference in personality between introvert Halep and expansive Mouratoglou is quite clear to most, however, the Romanian feels like the basis for a solid collaboration are all there: “I trusted him 100% since the first moment. What he’s telling me actually I accepted it because I know it’s good for me. He knows better in this position because I was super down with myself, low confidence. So I trust him 100% and I’m doing super easy what he’s saying. Actually I feel good. I have no problems with that. But always it’s tough when you change a team. So I need a little bit of time.”