Weight of expectation on Simona Halep’s shoulders

The world number four cruised into the last 32 at Roland Garros with a 6-2 6-4 victory over Great Britain’s Heather Watson, and has dropped just eight games in four sets.

Despite progressing with relative ease, the fourth-seeded Romanian said she is feeling the heat in Paris.

“A little pressure but I just want to stay focussed for a very match because here every match is very tough,” she said.

“It is a tough tournament and I have to play my best to do everything on court match by match.

“After (each match), I will see how far I can go.
“I expect every match to be difficult so I cannot say that I am thinking about the finals or something like this.”

Halep said she knows she is being hunted every time she goes on court, after going deep inside the top-10 rankings.

“At that moment I said that clay is my favourite surface and then I played well also on hard court. Now it is a bit different because I am in the top 10,” she said.

“So when I play against them there is more pressure, they want to beat me more and they are more focussed during the match.

“It is not easy to manage this top 10 but it is the best moment of my career and I have to enjoy this.”

Halep withdrew from the Internazionali d’Italia in Rome with a left abdominal injury, but she said it was only a precaution for the clay-court major.

“Yes, I feel very well, I am 100 percent here, that is why I stopped in Rome, to be ready to play here,” she said.

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