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October 22, 2014

Simona Halep


S. HALEP/S. Williams
6‑0, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  I'm guessing you're going to be smiling the rest of the day?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yes, and tomorrow.

Q.  Yeah.  What do you think happened out there?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I have no words to explain how I feel and how I felt on court.  It was an amazing match for me.  I played really well.  I was aggressive, and after first set I wasn't scary.
Yeah, I just continued the match.  I continued to just hit the balls and to stay close to the line, because I knew that I don't have any chance if I stay back.
So I tried everything, and I was very relaxed today during the match.

Q.  How pleased were you with how you handled those break points?  You faced the more than one, especially in the second set, but always played them quite calmly.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I was very calm during this match.  I'm a little bit surprised, but I knew before the match that I have nothing to lose, just to play.  She's the best player in the world; she's No. 1.
Yeah, after this match I learned many things.  I learned that I have to believe in my chance and just go on court to play my game.
It means a lot, this match.  On the important moments I played really well.  So after today, my confidence went more high.  Yeah, I feel good, and I have to look forward to be better next days.

Q.  Beating Serena Williams 6‑Love, 6‑2, could you ever even dream about that before doing it?
SIMONA HALEP:  No, I didn't.  But, you know, I think wasn't her best day today.  She missed few important balls in first set.
But I think second set was closer and, you know, I just kept my‑‑ I was very, very focused every point.  I just wanted to fight for every point and to be focused for every point.
Yeah, it means a lot, this score, but still doesn't mean like everything.  Just was a match, was a day.
So tomorrow is another day, so I have to keep working again and to look forward for next tournaments.

Q.  Before the tournament you said you weren't putting any pressure on yourself and you just want the experience.  Now that you're 2‑0 and have beaten Serena, are you feeling more confident about actually going farther?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I can say I have confidence that I can go in the semifinals.  I have chance now.  You know, I don't want think about rounds, just playing tennis and just playing my best.
I will see if I can qualify in the semis and if I can do something more in that match.
I just want to think about next round, because will be tough against Ivanovic.  First I have to forget this day, because it's really tough to forget it.
I'm really happy.

Q.  You had never beaten a top 3 player before this.  How aware were you of that?  And then to break through with such a big win over No. 1, does that make you feel like you can do anything now?
SIMONA HALEP:  Well, like I said, it was just a match, so I don't believe now that I can do everything, everything is possible.
Just I want to keep my mind on the floor, close to the floor, and just to keep working.  Like I said, it means a lot, this victory for me, but, you know, I have many more matches ahead.  I have just to be focused and relaxed.  Because if I'm relaxed, I can play very well.  Like I did today.
So, yeah, it's first time when I beat Serena.  She's No. 1.  Yeah, was a dream like to beat one of the sisters because they were‑ they are‑ very good players.
For my mind it's very important, this victory.

Q.  So many different things you've accomplished this year:  No.  2, first Premier title, slam final.  Where does this win rank among all of those things you've done?
SIMONA HALEP:  I think it's second after the final of French Open.  So it's very important, but the final was more important for me.

Q.  Serena said she's never seen you play like that before.  Do you think like as an individual match that it's best you've played?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yes, I think was my best match in my life.  You know, experience, I had experience to stay very focus and to stay relaxed.
I didn't feel scary after the first set like I said before.  That was very important for me.  Yeah, I played unbelievable shots.  Sometimes I did winners with her and also aces, so it means a lot.
I served well; I returned well; everything went very well for me today.

Q.  Next year the WTA will launch stats for the coach, live stats.  Do you think it will change something in the game?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I didn't think about this.  I don't like to call my coach on court and to speak about this.  I like to be alone there, to see what I can do during the matches.
I think it helps some players.  It's a good idea.  But, you know, I cannot comment on this, because for me I don't like this.

Q.  You said you will be partying after this tournament.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, for sure.

Q.  How does Simona Halep party then?
SIMONA HALEP:  I will go home and meet my friends and my brother because he is in honeymoon now.  So I made his day today.  Yeah, I will party with my friends and family, and for sure I will enjoy this victory, because it means a lot.
It's the last tournament of this year.  I had injuries.  I had tough period.  Now I'm really happy and I really believe in myself.

Q.  Serena was saying she will go home and work hard and especially train for you.  Did you ever train for somebody before a match against some players?
SIMONA HALEP:  Sometimes yes.  I do some exercises like my opponent is playing.  Some, you know, shots to play to open more the court, the angles, to run a little bit more.
Yeah, you can exercise before the match, but, you know, like I go home and I train for one player?  No, I never did and I will never do.

Q.  You started out 60, 2‑0; how surprised were you at that point?  What was going through your mind?
SIMONA HALEP:  When I was sitting there down at 2‑1 in second set, I said that it's first game and I have to replay again the points, just to think that it's first game and I have to win every point.
That help me.  That's why I wasn't scary, I think.

Q.  When you are leading are you always calm?  There is no like, Oh, my gosh, I am up 6‑Love, 2‑Love?
SIMONA HALEP:  No, never in this match.

Q.  From Serena's side, what surprised you the most?  What do you think failed her the most?  What were you expecting that didn't happen?
SIMONA HALEP:  Against Serena this match?

Q.  Yeah, for her game.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, like I said, it wasn't her best day.  She missed some points.  I expected her serve stronger.
But sometimes you don't feel very well the shots.  I didn't think too much before the match what is going to happen there on court, but I just want to be relaxed, to have in my mind that I have nothing to lose and just to play the match, because was an important match for me to play against the No. 1 in the world.

Q.  You haven't been broken through your first two matches.  Been holding serve fairly well and defending your break points.  How surprised are you by that, and why do you think you've been successful on your service games?
SIMONA HALEP:  After my tough period before this tournament I said that I want to work more on my serve.  In Beijing didn't help me very much, my serve.
Yeah, I worked very hard every day, like 20 minutes per day my serve.  I can say that I play here like in French Open:  without pressure, without expectations.
Because if I expect something, then I'm very, very hard, very tight with my body and I cannot play.
I came here just to take match by match and to see how far I can go.  You know, it's one of the best tournaments in this year for me, so I have to enjoy it and just to keep working, to think only about tennis now these days, and then to relax myself.
I need a break after this tournament, and then next year will be a tough year again for me.  But I just want to enjoy the moment.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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