A relaxed Simona Halep claimed success at the US Open would be a bonus after declaring her Wimbledon win was ‘job done’.
Romanian Halep claimed her second grand slam title when she triumphed against Serena Williams in last month’s final at the All England Club.
Halep’s US Open record makes pretty grim reading – she has been knocked out in the first round in the last two years – but her dream run at Wimbledon has more than made up for her Flushing Meadows nightmares.
“It can’t be worse than last year and the last two years, actually, to lose in the first round,” said Halep, who also won the 2018 French Open.
“Now I’m feeling really, really good. I’m feeling healthy. I’m feeling fresh to start the new tournament. The pressure is on a little bit, but I’m not thinking about the result at all.
“I did my job this year, let’s say, and now I just have expectations from myself, how good I can be on court, and just, like, feeling good, feeling happy, feeling relaxed.
“I didn’t say I don’t want more. I said that the pressure of doing something special, it’s off. Now what comes, comes as a bonus.
“So I’m still working, I’m still motivated to win titles. Now I started to feel more and more that I’m capable to do that, winning in Wimbledon, so my confidence is very high but doesn’t mean that this week I’m going to be the same.
“I feel like I have the right game, I have the right physical condition to win a tournament, and to win a grand slam as I did already two times.”
By contrast, top seed and defending US Open champion Naomi Osaka flopped at Wimbledon, tumbling out in the first round.
The world number one from Japan has struggled since winning her second grand slam title at the Australian Open in January.
However, she said: “I’m not sure if it’s because the last couple of months have been kind of turbulent, but definitely I feel really comfortable.
“I know that, despite everything, I play well here every year. So I’m not too worried about that.”