No pressure to end Romania's grand slam wait, says Halep
Simona Halep insists she is not feeling the pressure as the top seed at the French Open looks to end Romania's 40-year wait for a grand slam triumph.
Halep is the world number one, but is yet to win a major, having lost to Caroline Wozniacki in the final of the Australian Open earlier this year.
Wozniacki exited Roland Garros on Monday, though, as Halep cruised on with a fourth-round thrashing of Elise Mertens, prompting increasing optimism that this could finally be her time.
Romania has not celebrated a grand slam win since Virginia Ruzici's 1978 French Open success, but that is not playing on Halep's mind.
"I don't feel the pressure from my country. I feel that they really want it, but I take it positive," she told a news conference. "I feel their support.
"I'm thinking about winning a grand slam, but I don't know if it's going to happen this year or in this life. I'm working for that. Every day I'm trying just to get better, tournament by tournament, year by year.
"I hope I will get mature enough to win a grand slam in the future but, for the moment, I just want to enjoy this win, this tournament, and then we will see."
And when it was suggested to Halep that she is the favourite at Roland Garros, the 26-year-old remained reticent.
"Well, I feel good when I hear that but, also, I will keep my line that it's very far [away] to think about the title," she replied.
"I have an important match on Wednesday, so all my focus is on that one. Then we will see."
Halep, a finalist last year, will play Angelique Kerber in the last eight after the German downed home favourite Caroline Garcia.