PARIS (Reuters) - Simona Halep tried to look on the positive side after losing in the French Open quarter-finals on Thursday, saying her shock 6-2 6-4 defeat to Amanda Anisimova gave her more time to prepare for the grasscourt season.
The Romanian third seed saw her title defense come to a shuddering stop at Roland Garros as she was crushed by the 17-year-old American, forcing her to turn her attention to Wimbledon.
“Now it’s a little bit easier because I have few days off, and then I can go and train on grass courts,” Halep told reporters.
“It’s maybe the seventh year I do these things, coming from clay to grass court. I got used to it.”
Last year, she did not play any grasscourt tournament between the French Open and Wimbledon, where her best result remains her run to the semi-finals in 2014.
Halep admitted the stress that comes with being the defending champion played a part in her performance after she lost seven games in a row to go from 2-2 in the first set to 6-2 3-0 down in the second.
“Stressed because I felt that I’m playing well, and maybe my
expectations for myself were big today,” she explained.
“Maybe I couldn’t handle the tension in my body so I couldn’t play my best and I couldn’t move at my best level.”
The 27-year-old, however, was gracious in defeat, predicting a bright future for her opponent.
“Today I felt how she’s playing, because before, I had never played against her,” she said.
“I couldn’t say something more. But I think she has a chance and she will be in the top soon, because she has the game.
She sees the game, has the attitude, good attitude, so I think she’s a great player.”
Halep said she would not dwell on the disappointment.
“I think it will help me for the future tournaments. I’m not negative now. I’m not very disappointed,” said Halep.
“It’s normal to be a little bit disappointed after a loss,
but I feel okay, and I’m looking forward to a new day tomorrow.
“Actually, a few days off first.”
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis