Monday, August 15, 2016

Halep talks about Puig, Romania and her gym routine

3rd seed Simona Halep, in Cincinnati for the Western & Southern Open, talked in some depth today about the pressures she has felt as an elite player, and about her health and fitness.

Halep said that her stomach is still troubling her, and that she's also dealing with an occasional headache. The Romanian star said that eating different foods in all the various countries to which she travels is problematic for her.

Halep also said that she is much more motivated to practice on the court than she is to go to the gym, but that she has motivated herself, and now goes to the gym every day.

She also talked about the expectations of fans and media in her home country. "Every time, I play for Romania," she said, but that she can't play in every event, and people in Romania expect her not only to play at all times, but to win at all times. "No one can win every match," Halep said. She added that she had taken some of the pressure off of herself. She has said this before, however, and sometimes it's hard to know how much of the burden has really been removed from her shoulders.

She said she does not regret missing the Olympics, though she feels disappointed that she could not be there. But, she emphasized, she was quite comfortable with her decision to stay away from Rio. Halep had high praise for gold medal winner Monica Puig, remarking that Puig's level was high in every round. "She was there to win."

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