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January 17, 2015

Simona Halep


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How were you feeling after having to withdraw from Sydney?
SIMONA HALEP: I'm feeling good now. I'm almost now like hundred percent recovered. I have two days. I slept very well. I ate very well. So I feel prepared to start this tournament. But still I have time, two days more, to feel like hundred percent.

Q. How different was your off-season? You changed coaches. Was there something you wanted to work on?
SIMONA HALEP: Just improve in my game more and more. I did in my serve very well in the off-season, and as well in my forehand. I'm moving better than last year. I'm working hard every day. I changed because I just wanted to change something, and I did. I think was a great idea for myself. Always I took my decisions and work very well. I think very good decision I had in the past.

Q. You posted a lot of pictures on Facebook of training in the snow and ice back home. How difficult is it to transition to warmer weather?
SIMONA HALEP: I have like three weeks already here because I played in Shenzhen. Wasn't too hot there. That was a good thing for me. I like to train in snow, when it's cold outside. I just had my preparation, my own preparation home, because many players are going where the weather is better or it's very hot in USA and other places. But I preferred to stay home, stay close to my family, to recharge my batteries. I feel good home. Just I was like 20 days practicing in the snow and I was running a lot.

Q. What is the best advice you ever received for helping to deal with the heat?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, good question. Just to take easy, day by day. Just to have like no panic. Sometimes when you come from winter to summer, when it's very cold and you come here and it's hot, you feel like dizzy sometimes during the day. But I just stay cool and try to adapt very quickly. I don't have like big advices about this.

Q. What did you work on in the off-season?
SIMONA HALEP: My serve and my forehand. But I worked everything on my game. More on my serve. I did very well I think in Shenzhen.

Q. For power or for placement?
SIMONA HALEP: Both of them, and also I changed a little bit my technique.

Q. You made huge strides since a year ago. What surprised you most about your season, how successful you were?
SIMONA HALEP: I'm not surprised that I had big results last year because two years ago I just started to win some titles. I had more experience than before. I was improving a lot I think in my game. I'm much stronger now than before. My game is complete now, I think. I believe in my game. I think I was a little bit, I can say, surprised with the finals in French Open because I didn't expect that I can play finals after just one quarterfinals in Grand Slam. But, you know, I had nothing to lose there. Was my favorite tournament, because I won in juniors, and I feel very well there. I was trying everything on court. Everything went in the right way at that tournament. I felt very well. Sometimes is very good to be close to your home because more people can come to watch you and can support you. So was a perfect tournament for me. That's why I think I played the final. Then I had in Singapore the second big result. I played well, as well, there. I cannot say that I was surprised, but still I was very happy in the end of the year that I did few big results.

Q. After such a great year, do you feel more pressure coming into this year?
SIMONA HALEP: No. It's better than last year. I can say now I feel no pressure. I have just to play my game during the matches and to see how good I can be, how many results I can do, how many matches I can win. So my goal is again to go to Singapore and to win matches with top players. Just I have no pressure.

Q. Do you feel this year's Australian Open feels more wide open, like many different players could win?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I can say that all the players from here have a chance to do this. I was thinking a few days ago that even if I am third in the rankings, I have my chance, but is not like I have to be in the semifinals or in the finals. Everyone from top 20 I can say has their own chance to win this title. You saw Pliskova, last week she played very well. Kvitova as well. Everyone can win this title. The tournament is open I think for everyone.

Q. Does that actually make it less pressure?
SIMONA HALEP: I think, yes. I don't want to think I have to win this tournament, be in the semifinals or quarterfinals. I want to take match by match and looking forward to start this tournament, to start first match, because will be a tough match, and to see how good I can be this tournament because it's a tough tournament.

Q. When you're in Romania, do people leave you alone?
SIMONA HALEP: So-and-so. Sometimes when I go in the city, it's tough, because everyone is coming to ask for a picture. It's tough to stay relaxed, but when I practice, yeah, I'm alone. I feel good home.

Q. You said in Singapore that you were going to reward yourself with something, that you would buy yourself something.
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't yet.

Q. You had the whole off-season. You didn't buy yourself something?
SIMONA HALEP: No. I will do maybe this year.

Q. Melbourne is a big shopping city.
SIMONA HALEP: I did already some shopping. But not very big things. Just to motivate myself.

Q. Do you work on your English in the off-season as well? You're getting much better.
SIMONA HALEP: I wanted to do some lessons, but I didn't have time. Sometimes you want something, but you have other priorities. I just speak more with my team in English sometimes. I started to read a book now again in English. With my computer to translate some words, I improve how I can.

Q. Do you speak two languages then?
SIMONA HALEP: Yes. I understand a little bit of French and Spain, but it's tough to speak.

Q. How are things going with Victor so far?
SIMONA HALEP: Good. The things are going good. I know him for a long time because he is Romanian. Like we played both in Bucharest before. It's good. He's relaxed. We feel each other in a good way. I can say not really that he's listening me, but he's listening what I need and what I want to do in that day. So I think that's the best way to work with a coach.

Q. What book are you reading?
SIMONA HALEP: I don't say because I said about Harry Potter and everyone was asking me. It's English book.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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