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October 20, 2014

Simona Halep


S. HALEP/E. Bouchard
6‑2, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  That seemed to go really well for you.  Did you expect it to go so well?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, you know, before the match you never expect something because you don't know how well going on there on court.
But I felt prepared to start the match, to start the tournament, and I had confidence that I can play my style and my game again.
I found the way to be again aggressive and to fight for every point.  That made me very happy, and now I'm really enjoying this, you know, good atmosphere in myself.

Q.  You walked out on court with a bit of a smile.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah.  I was afraid a little bit about, you know, the sound.
Yeah, down there was amazing because everything was dark.  I couldn't see the people in the crowd.  It was something special.  You never see this during the tournaments, normal tournaments.
I'm happy to be here, and I really want to enjoy every moment.  That's why I was smiling.

Q.  How different does this tournament feel from anything else you've ever done?
SIMONA HALEP:  It's very different because, you know, you've got groups, and it's the only one tournament during the year where you can play like this.
I have experience from Sofia, but here is different.  And it's bigger, so it means a lot for me.  If you lose one match you still have chances to go in the semifinal, so it's different and it's good.

Q.  Can you tell us since Wimbledon, the change between your matchup against Genie, what do you think has changed with your game and her game since then?
SIMONA HALEP:  You know, during the Wimbledon, during the first set I had injury with my ankle and wasn't easy to continue the match.
I tried first set, but in the second set I couldn't stay focused anymore.  Now I feel like I found again my way to be aggressive, to play without pressure, and just to enjoy the match.
I think today I had complete game, and just want to hit the balls very hard, to open the angles, and to play with good length.
So I did.  I served very well today.  I'm really happy with my game.  I think I was more concentrated like her today during the match.  I felt more fresh.
You know, it's end of the season and is not easy to manage the situation and, you know, the moments during the match.

Q.  Your first appearance at the WTA Finals.  Do you come here thinking this is just an opportunity for experience, or do you think you really have a chance to do something at this tournament?
SIMONA HALEP:  Just for experience, because I don't want to put pressure on myself.  It's first time and I have to learn many things from this tournament.  I played with few players from here and I beat them, so maybe I can believe in my chance that I have, you know, the chance to win this tournament.
But I don't want to think about this.  Only to take match by match and just to see how good I can be this tournament.

Q.  We don't know who you play next.  Do you know?
SIMONA HALEP:  Not sure, but I think winner against winner.

Q.  Right, so Serena.

Q.  You haven't played Serena yet this year, so what is tat going to be like for you?  And it's surprising, because you were 2 and 2 for a while.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I didn't play against her this year.  It will be a big challenge for me.  I have nothing to lose.  She's No. 1 in the world and the best.  She's very strong on court.  She's serving well.
So I cannot say that I expect something.  I just want to go there on court and just to try to fight for every point and to fight for my chance.
I believe that I have a chance, but, you know, it's tough to say that I can win.

Q.  How different will you feel about going into that match than last year when you played her?  You've obviously won a lot since then.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, but last year she beat me in Cincinnati, I think.  It was a tough match, a good match for me.  A lot of the experience.
Now I had good results this year, but also she won US Open, so she's playing really well.  I really don't know about what I have to expect.  I expect a tough match and I expect a lot of winners from her.
So I want to just move well on court and just to hit‑‑ to be aggressive if I can.

Q.  Were you happy with your movement today?

Q.  Was it better than you expected?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, it was better.  But I have no pain in my leg.  I put the tape only for protection.  I feel more safety with that tape.
But I have no pain.  I feel good.

Q.  Has it been easy to forget about your recent results and injuries coming here?
SIMONA HALEP:  Wasn't easy, but I can say that I wanted to forget everything, just to enjoy this tournament, and to try everything.
After this tournament I will have a break, holidays, so I want to give everything and to fight for everything and just to enjoy the last tournament, you know, just playing.  I want to just playing here.

Q.  The buildup to this tournament seems bigger for the players in terms of all of the photos you have to do and all the press.
SIMONA HALEP:  I finished with this, so I'm happy.  Now I have time to think about tennis.

Q.  What was that like for you?  That's a lot of stuff to do for the first time.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, it's a lot of stuff to do, but also I was enjoying because it's nice to be there with top players and doing photos, speaking with a lot of people from everywhere around the world.
You know, I finished with those things, and now I have time to think about tennis.  I have time to believe more in what I have to do during the days.
It's part of my life, and I just to have accept that and to enjoy.

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