Halep pleased to overcome French Open first-round nerves
Simona Halep was relieved the nerves she suffered early on in her French Open first-round clash did not hinder her progression at Roland Garros.
The world number one had to wait until day four to kick off her campaign due to the Paris weather and it took her time to settle against Alison Riske.
Halep was out of sorts in the first set, making 16 unforced errors and failing to produce the high-intensity style that has become her trademark.
Having fallen behind, the Romanian soon found her rhythm and produced the performance many were expecting, going on to win 2-6 6-1 6-1.
"I had a slow start because it's always tough to start this tournament," she told a media conference.
"It's a pleasure to come here and to play. So always I feel nervous at the beginning.
"I didn't feel the pressure, because I know that every match is tough at this tournament, so I don't expect anything [to be easy].
“I think the nerves are really good. It means that you care about what you are doing and your desire is really big.— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) May 30, 2018
Every time when I get on court is like I'm really excited and nervous about everything, every moment.”
- @Simona_Halep #RG18 pic.twitter.com/NgAN7XrG3y
"But what I expect from myself is to go there and to play as I play in practice.
"So, this is the only one thing that I'm following and I want to have on court. The result, it's going to come if I play well. If not, I just have to fight and to try to not give up, even one point."
On the WTA Tour, Halep would have been able to turn to coach Darren Cahill for advice during her early slump, but such discussions are not permitted at grand slams.
That gave Halep even more satisfaction after the impressive comeback.
"We have had many on-court coaching moments, and now I can say I have learned how to come out from a bad feeling on court," she said.
"So today it was a good moment, I could come back alone, by myself. And this makes me a little bit more confident. And also stronger mentally, because I was able to do it alone."