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Halep upbeat despite semi-final defeat

Simona Halep hits a forehand
by Helen Gilbert
Thursday 3 July 2014

Simona Halep may have been shown the exit out of Wimbledon by Eugenie Bouchard but refuses to dwell on the loss. “I cannot be sad now,” she said following her 7-6(5), 6-2 semi-final defeat. “I just want to enjoy the result and to look forward to play many more matches at the Grand Slams.”

The Romanian, who beat Bouchard in Indian Wells earlier this year, twisted her ankle just 12 minutes into her match and although taped up, she was unable to push off on her leg and conceded her serve was "really bad after that".

Even so, the lady from Constanta will leave this tournament with her head held high. Prior to her wonderful spell on the lawns here, she had never advanced past the second round. “After this tournament I can say that I have more confidence in myself that I can play also on grass good tennis. I feel good. I am happy.”

Her appearance in the last four here simply strengthens a stellar year in which she has posted her best Grand Slam results.

It all began in January at Melbourne Park where she reached the quarter-finals. After that she collected her first title of the year in Doha, adding to the six she picked off last year on grass, clay and hard, and last month she lost in the French Open finals to Maria Sharapova in three close sets.

Yet with success comes an inevitable toll on the body, a factor Halep alluded to after the match.

“I lost my energy because I am a little bit tired,” she admitted. “I played many matches. After French Open was really short the time to recover. But, you know, I'm really happy that I could play semi-final here. Is my best result in Wimbledon.”

Heading into the hard court season, Halep’s priority will be keeping her body as healthy as possible. She experienced muscle pain during a practice session ahead of her third-round match and has been playing with a strapped thigh ever since. “It is not dangerous but is still there,” she said.

Halep, whose ranking is at a career high of No.3, will rest her body with a one week holiday.

After that she will head to the USA where her goal will be to take care of herself and "enjoy every tournament".

“With one week break and one week holiday I will be for sure 100 per cent again," she declared.

The 22-year-old praised Bouchard's performance and described her as a great player. “For sure she will be top very soon,” Halep insisted.

Thursday's semi-final certainly heralded a new era in women’s tennis but it is Halep who has amassed a quarter-final, semi-final and final round record in Grand Slams this year. Could the next one be Champion?

Watch this space.

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