(August 23, 2014) FLUSHING MEADOWS – No. 2 seed Romanian Simona Halep has seen her ranking surge over the past two years.
“Last year I didn’t expect that I can get in top 10 this year, but it was my dream to be in top 20,” she told media on Saturday in a pre-US Open news conference. “Now I’m second in the rankings, so it’s an amazing feeling for me. I’m not very surprised because I had good matches in the past also with top players. I beat them, and then I got more confidence in myself. My game, it starts to be — I improved more in my game. In my serve also. With my forehand I hit stronger than before. So it’s I think I deserve to be here because I won few titles and also important matches. I did finals in Grand Slam. So I just want to keep this work going and to see how far and how good I can be, how better I can be in the future.”
“This year I had the chance to practice in Arthur Ashe, and it’s huge,” she said as someone who is used to playing on smaller courts. “It’s very big. It’s good to have this experience. Maybe I will play a match maybe first round or I don’t know. I have experience everywhere now to play, so I feel prepared for everything. I have just to do my game on court, because I think that’s the most important thing. Doesn’t matter the court where are you playing. Just to play your best.”
“I think it’s a very nice thing to play in front of thousand people watching you,” she added later. “For me it doesn’t matter if they are loud up there, because when I’m on court I’m very focused, so I don’t care about that they are screaming sometimes or during the points. It’s normal. Everyone can do everything they want. Every people is free to do. But sometimes like a player, you need some quiet during the points. But, you know, every player it’s different, so for me that doesn’t matter. No problem at all.”
Still not a household name on the international tennis scene, she said that she still has been recognized by one person in New York City.
“Policeman,” she said. “He told me, you are Simona Halep, no? Yes, I am. Only one.”
Halep will face off against l Danielle Rose Collins of the USA in the first round.