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BNP PARIBAS WTA FINALS


October 25, 2014


Simona Halep


SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE

S. HALEP/A. Radwanska
6‑2, 6‑2


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Congratulations.  Pretty straightforward win for you seemed like today.  What was on the key to keeping everything going in your direction?
SIMONA HALEP:  Thanks.  Yeah, it was a great match for everything.  Went perfect I think today.
I played really well and moved really well on court.  My backhand down line was the best shot tonight.
I feel very happy because I could play at this level.  She's also great player, but today everything was very well for me.
You know, I'm waiting the final, the match against Serena again, but I want just to enjoy this night first.

Q.  It was your first WTA Finals semifinal, and so were you able to walk out on court without nerves and to play relaxed, or did it take some time to calm down?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I don't know now, but I feel relaxed now.  I feel that I have nothing to lose in this final.  It's a dream to be in the finals.  Before coming here, I didn't expect this result, and now I have no pressure, nothing to lose, because, you know.
I play against No. 1 in the world again.  I did this week, but it's another day, new day, so we'll see what is going to happen there.
But I feel happy, very happy, and I have just to enjoy my tennis because here I played really well.

Q.  It must feel strange to beat Serena, catch your breath from it, and then you have to go out and play her again.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I played few days ago and it was a very good match for me.  But tomorrow will be different.  I am prepared for everything.
I just want to enjoy the match, enjoy the final first, and then to think what I have to do on court.
I know how to play, so we'll see tomorrow if my game is going to be the same like today.

Q.  Do you think mentally it's different to face Serena in a round robin match and in a final?  Will you prepare differently at all mentally?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I can say it's different because it was group match and now it's last match in this tournament.
I feel a little bit different but still I feel okay.  I feel prepared to play against her.  Will be tough, tough match, but I know she's a great player.  I have just to enjoy it and to try everything on court to win.
But we will see.

Q.  It's fair to say that you surprised a few people at this tournament with your performances.  Are you surprised yourself at how well you're doing?
SIMONA HALEP:  Not really, because this year in first part of the year I played really well also in French Open.  So I think I am very close to that level, maybe better.
But indoor I played always good, good tennis.  Yeah, I felt very well.  I cannot explain how I feel now because it's the best result in my life.  Also the final of Grand Slam was the best result.
But here it's different.  We played like groups and it's a bit different.  But, you know, I have just to believe in my chance, to believe in my game, and just to looking forward for the next matches and of course for the next tournaments.

Q.¬† Serena was probably favorite to win this tournament when it started.¬† Some people thought maybe ‑‑ because you had a chance to eliminate her from the tournament when you played Ivanovic.
SIMONA HALEP:  I didn't want.

Q.  But some people thought that maybe there was reason for you to maybe do that, that it might logical to do that.  Did that ever cross your mind at that point?
SIMONA HALEP:  No, no.

Q.  Talk again about your thoughts about wanting give your full effort in that match.
SIMONA HALEP:  I just wanted to play my game yesterday against Ivanovic.  I didn't think that I can eliminate Serena.  Every time when I go on court I just want to do everything I can to win the match.
I play with pleasure.  I love tennis.  That's why.  I don't care about results, but when the results are coming so I'm really happy.
Tomorrow, yeah, will be maybe more tough, the match, because she will be very focused.  But, you know, it's a good experience for me, too.

Q.¬† A lot of people will be wondering how you could beat Serena 6‑Love, 6‑2.¬† What was the secret?¬† Where do you think you had the advantage over her?
SIMONA HALEP:¬† The secret was like I cannot explain, because I just played‑‑ I had a plan in my head just to move her a lot and just to open the court, to open the angles.
I moved very well on court, and just I wanted to be aggressive.  My serve went very well in that match.  Now I feel a little bit tired because I played many matches here and it was a tough level.
But, you know, I feel okay.  I want just to enjoy the finals and to try everything.

Q.  So when you played Serena, that was the first one of the year that you guys had ever played each other.  What does that...
SIMONA HALEP:  Second time the same week.

Q.  Second time in the same week, exactly.  When it rains it pours.  What does that match do for this match?  What did you learn from that match that you can take to this match?
SIMONA HALEP:  I can say that I learned that I have to believe in my chance against her.  I can think that I have the game to beat her.  I learn that I just have to stay aggressive every time, and always against the top players.
She's very strong.  You know, it's good that I played against her this week.  I have more experience now.  I know how she's playing, how she's hitting.
Yeah, it will be tough match, but I have only to enjoy.  I don't want think anything else now.

Q.  Do you feel like besides the technical parts, like serve, return, serve, forehand, backhand, you still have to play a very good mind game against Serena on the court.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, of course, because she's stronger than me.  She's hitting stronger than me, and just to play smart aggressive, like I did first part of the year.
Yeah, I have to be aggressive.  I have no chance if I stay behind the baseline.

Q.  I know you're used to playing in regular tournaments all year, every day, but it's never against top players throughout the whole week.  Is the intensity of this tournament, how are you handling to turnaround?  Is there like adrenaline pushing you?  How are you doing it?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, it's high intensity in this tournament because everyone is like top eight.  They are very strong.  Very tough opponents.
You know, when you start the tournament you play less good than in the end, so now I play better and better day by day.
I feel tired, like I said before, a little bit, but it's the last match of this year.   I have to give everything and to fight for every chance.
Of course will be tough.  I will be nervous because it's the finals, but I can't wait to play tomorrow.  Because my dream came true, so I have to do everything to win.

Q.¬† Considering you won 6‑Love, 6‑2 last time...
SIMONA HALEP:  Again.  I know how I won.  (Laughter.)

Q.  I know.  Do you feel like the favorite tomorrow?
SIMONA HALEP:  Not really, because she has experience.  She knows how I play, how I played few days ago.
She's older than me and she knows how to manage this final tomorrow.  For me it's first time.
But still, I believe that I have a chance.

Q.  This question is not about Serena.
SIMONA HALEP:  Okay, that's good.  (Laughter.)

Q.  What have you been doing outside of the tennis court in Singapore to just relax?  Have you been able to stay away from all the shops?
SIMONA HALEP:  No.  I went every day to the shops.  I bought something every day.
But, you know, in the afternoon I slept every day, so one hour per day was a good preparation for these matches, tough matches.
For sure I will go after tomorrow to buy something huge, because I have reasons to be happy and to buy something.

Q.  And then physically you're feeling okay after everything?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I have no pain.  I am fit, but I feel that I am tired a little bit.
But it's normal after four matches, four tough matches.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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