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January 27, 2015

Simona Halep


6-4, 6-0
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Probably not your best today. Did it feel bad before the match?
SIMONA HALEP: I practiced very well in the morning, but maybe I was a little bit too stressed before I started the match. Wasn't my good day. I had a bad day. But she played well and everything was in for her. So she deserves this winning. I'm really sad a little bit now that I could not play my tennis, my game, but that's tennis and I have to look forward to the next tournament.

Q. Do you think you put pressure on yourself being the favorite in this match?
SIMONA HALEP: Not really pressure. I cannot say pressure. Just I was a little bit stressed. I don't know why. I had experience from last year to play quarterfinals, so it doesn't mean that I felt pressure. Just I didn't feel the game, the ball. Was a very bad day for me.

Q. Where did you feel the match was getting away from you?
SIMONA HALEP: I felt in beginning of match my game is not going well, so I just try to change something in my game, but didn't work very well. In important moments she play really well. She had very lucky balls on the lines. Mine were out. So, yeah, wasn't too good. But still I am happy with my performance this tournament.

Q. When was the last time you felt like that or had a match like that?
SIMONA HALEP: I don't really know now when I had. But sometimes is happening to feel that you are not in a good mood to play, you know, you don't feel your game very well. But it's normal, I think. Many matches, sometimes it's normal to feel like this.

Q. Cool weather didn't have any part to play?
SIMONA HALEP: Was colder today. Was different. But for her was the same thing.

Q. Do you feel stress before the match or does it hit you when you get out there?
SIMONA HALEP: Like I said, in the practicing I hit well. But, yeah, when I started to play, I just felt a little bit my body, it's stressed, my mind maybe. Yeah, I felt only during the match. Not before or yesterday, but just today.

Q. Do you have strategies to cope with that?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, like I said, I have experience. I had experience to play quarterfinals in Grand Slams. But sometimes you cannot manage the situation. I tried. I did everything I could this match. But, you know, just mentally because during the points maybe I didn't fight very well today. I just lost my concentrate to win the points, to win the match. So I didn't believe any more in second set, and that's maybe why I lost 6-0.

Q. It wasn't a great match for you. But what is Makarova doing well in her game?
SIMONA HALEP: I was expecting she will hit more stronger, but she didn't. She played very soft tennis today. She opened very well the angles. So was a different game. She played well. She served very well. Her lefty slice is not easy to give the ball back.

Q. You came in here as the No. 3 seed. How do your expectations for yourself change this year with how good last year was? You said you're satisfied with quarterfinals. Does that change at all compared to last year when you weren't top 10?
SIMONA HALEP: Last year was a big result for me here. Now I cannot say it's very big, but is enough for me. I started very well this year. I won one title, and now I did here a few good matches. I have confidence this year will be better than last year. I just try to improve more in my game, in my mind as well. I think I'm on the right way to go in the top higher. But, you know, it's tough. Every match is difficult at this level. Everyone wants to beat me because I am in the top. I know this thing from the past. I had the same mentality. I still want just to play with pleasure and just relaxed on court because I don't want to feel pressure. I don't have to be very stressed on court because it's tennis, every match is different, every day is different. We have to keep going, keep working, to see how good we can be.

Q. How much of this tournament have you watched on TV?
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't watch, because my matches, just what I have to do.

Q. The Williams sisters are both into the quarterfinals. Did you watch them when you were little on television?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, sure. When I was younger, yeah, I watched a lot. They were like models for me. They are fighting a lot. They are still in at 30, 34 years old. So it's amazing. It's impressive. They are great champions. Yeah, in my opinion, I still have to learn from them.

Q. What is your schedule from here?
SIMONA HALEP: Fed Cup in Romania.

Q. After that?
SIMONA HALEP: Dubai and we will see next. But Dubai will be the first.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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