There are few players hotter right now than Simona Halep. The 22-year-old has won seven titles in the last year and now she’s just two wins from her biggest at Indian Wells.
And with a Top 5 ranking locked in, celebrity and fame back in her native Romania has also come with the results.
“Everywhere,” Halep said when asked where she’s recognized in Romania. “Also the parking. I was surprised when I wanted to park and I didn’t have space, someone came and put me in front of the hotel. o you can park here, he told me. Everybody knows me now.
“Everybody’s coming to support me where they can, so it’s okay. I feel good at home. I like home and I like my country.”
The fans, who haven’t had a star in that country in quite a while, aren’t over burdening, asking for pictures and autographs.
“They tell me, Hello and, Well done. No pictures.”
Later today, Halep, who is 4-0 against Top 10 players this season, meets Agnieszka Radwanska in the semifinals.
“She’s very smart player, and I wanted to play the same, like smart, smart aggressive.”
Halep’s big goal, she says, is to win the French Open. But her big break came last year when her countryman Ion Tiriac gave her a wildcard to play the Madrid Masters.
“It’s very important to have a chance to play on main draw at big tournaments,” she said. “So I had the chance, and after that I started to play really well. That was very important moment in my life. Because I came from one big injury at my back, and I started really well after that.”
And all the money she’s made helps with her shopping!
“I’m a normal girl, like everybody, and I like just to go to the shopping,” Halep said. “Here I did every day something. I bought something every day. Listening music. Speaking on Whatsapp on my phone. I don’t watch movies in my room because I cannot stay two hours focused.
“Everything I like I buy. But not very expensive. I have to keep my money. That’s why I’m working, no?”
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