The world's top-ranking female tennis player, Romanian Simona Halep announced on Tuesday that she sets her ambition on winning a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and also on being Romania's flag bearer.
"I am honored to be part of Romania's Olympic team. The Tokyo Olympics are still some time away, but I hope to be fit and to qualify. I played in London two editions ago and it was beautiful, touching and very different from what we do every day.Tennis is an individual sport, but when I played in the Olympic Games it was completely different, with emotions never experienced before, and I hope I'll be playing far better than I did in London. My major goal for Tokyo is of course a medal, it doesn't matter which. I'll do my best to be present in Tokyo and to win. Yet I'd like to say something else, I want to publicly express my wish to be Romania's flag bearer at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Of course, if I go and if I get the nod of the decision-making body. It would be a great joy for me," Halep said.
"My one-off moment was at Roland Garros when the anthem played for me, it was by far the most beautiful moment in my life. It is the most wonderful achievement when the anthem plays for you on the court, and this happens at the Olympic Games. I think that representing their country is a great achievement for any athlete. Tokyo will definitely be a special moment, as was London. I'd be close to perfection if I also won an Olympic medal. I also hope we'll do a good job in the Fed Cup. The boys' medal in Rio de Janeiro has shown us that it's possible, their progression back then gave us motivation," she added.
The women's world No. 1 said she is very keen to play in Tokyo with Horia Tecau in the mixed doubles event.
"Without doubt, I'll play in the women's doubles. When you go to the Olympic Games you should play everything on the plate, but then it's for the team to decide, because this is no longer individual tennis, but a team sport. I'm focusing on a medal and I will put in all my energy to make it happen," said the Romanian player.
Simona Halep is part of Romania's Olympic tennis lineup that was announced on Tuesday by the Romanian Olympic and Sporting Committee, alongside the following 11 athletes: Mihaela Buzarnescu (WTA No. 24 ), Irina Begu (WTA No. 67), Ana Bogdan (WTA No. 76) , Sorana Cirstea (WTA No. 85), Monica Niculescu (WTA's 100), Alexandra Dulgheru (WTA No. 147), Irina Bara (WTA No. 158), Raluca Olaru (WTA doubles No. 44), Marius Copil (ATP No. 60), Horia Tecau (ATP doubles No. 27), Florin Mergea (ATP doubles No. 576).