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Simona Halep starts 2021 season eyeing Olympic medal

Simona Halep

Romanian tennis player Simona Halep who is quarantined in Adelaide before the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of this season, said in an interview with WTA Insider that her main goal this year is to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

"I'm almost 30. I've spent six to seven years at the top. I can handle that pressure and be in relaxation mode a little bit and say what comes is a bonus. The tough moments that I had taught me that every moment is important and even if something really bad happens, like losing an easy match or the final of a Grand Slam, if you shake your head and wake up the next morning to continue to work, there is a better chance to become better,'' said two-time Grand Slam champion Halep.

Speaking about the quarantine period she spends in Adelaide before the Melbourne tournament, the former World No.1 said: ''I'm good. Things are really good here in Adelaide. We have good conditions.''

Halep added that she did not suffer from any long-term aftereffects of the Covid-19 infection. "I've been OK. I did all the scans for the lungs and the heart, because we had to have a heart echography to be able to return to play. I did everything and nothing's changed. All is good," the athlete mentioned.

The World No. 2 says that she feels rested and "refreshed" after the longer off-season and the two-week quarantine. "The break was good because I've had almost 10 years playing every week, every month. So this break was helpful for me, for my mind."

Simona Halep is looking forward to her first match in Australia: ''Ash [Barty] comes on Friday and we will play a match. I can't wait for that because it means I will be out of quarantine. For two weeks I've only seen my team. I expect it to be a little bit weird for the next week because it will be busy and back to normal life. To have an official match after practicing only with one player for two weeks (fellow national Irina Begu - ed. note) is going to be interesting for everybody. But I also expect good times because here we are free to do everything. We can go to eat at restaurants, which we greatly missed during the tournaments. We can go shopping. My feet and my hands are burning already (laughs). I expect a good run. You never know the results, but at least I know it will be a good time.''

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