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February 21, 2015

Simona Halep


S. HALEP/K. Pliskova
6‑4, 7‑6

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Tell us how you feel.
SIMONA HALEP:  Very happy.  I'm very happy now, and I cannot explain words how I feel.
It's just an amazing title for me.  It's very important for my career.  You know, it's more important because it's second year in a row, so that makes this title very special.
I'm really happy, and I just want to enjoy this moment.

Q.  Very tough to finish off the match, wasn't it?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah.  I did two double faults at 6‑5.  Yeah, I cannot imagine how I could serve with 100 kilometers just to put the ball on court but I couldn't.
But in tiebreak I was strong and I stayed very focused and I was fighting till the end.  That was the most important, I think.

Q.  That was the confidence boost you needed?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah.  I have confidence now, but, you know, it's finished, this tournament, so next week another one (smiling).  So I have just to enjoy these moments now and tomorrow, and then I will take, you know, another week, another game, another tournament.  So I feel good now.  I feel confident.  I'm looking forward for the next tournaments.

Q.  How can you come to a tournament not in good form and finish it in very good form?  What are the processes you go through?
SIMONA HALEP:  I don't know, to tell you.  It's just I came here and I couldn't practice very hard.  I had some problems.
But, you know, when you are relaxed you can play your best tennis.  So I was very relaxed, and I just wanted to play match by match and to try to find my good form, my good playing, and I did very well.
Second round with Hantuchova, it gave me more confidence because I knew that she's coming from Pattaya where she won the title and I beat her very fast and very easy.  That gave me more confidence that I can play good tennis in this tournament.

Q.  Did it also help you to escape against Makarova from close to defeat?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah.  That was very important match, because she beat me in Australia, and it was very important to win this time because in Australia I was very disappointed because I couldn't fight and I couldn't play my game.  Here I just tried to fight till the end.
I did very well, and I think that's why I won this title, because I found my way to fight a lot and for every point, and I think that made the difference this tournament.

Q.  Why do you think you were able to fight this week and not in Australia?
SIMONA HALEP:  You know, it's not about how you want.  It's just how you feel and how you're mentally going in on that day, in that week, or that tournament.  So I'm just searching to find the relaxation just to go and play and to be very focused.
So my plan every time when I go on court to the matches is just to be focused and to fight, because then the game is coming.

Q.  Talk a little bit about the crowd.

Q.  Have you been in many tournaments outside of Romania with as many fans?
SIMONA HALEP:  I cannot explain.  In Romania I had this crowd when I played WTA last year, so now they were amazing and, you know, it's really nice to hear your name during the changeover.
I really want to thank them.  It's amazing that they can come to support me.  I see the love, you know.  I see that they like watching me playing and they like to say that they are Romanians.  That's nice for me.

Q.  I saw a lot of tweets the past few days saying that you breathe life into Romanian tennis.  Your fans are saying that.  Is that how you feel?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah.  You know, I make good things now in our sport in Romania, and we are a small country.  Everyone now is, you know, is happy because I have results.
But, you know, when I lose they are very disappointed.  I heard very bad words about me after I lost in Fed Cup.  But that's normal, because everyone is disappointed when I lose.  But I accept.  I understand and I just take the positive things and I just take the, you know, the power because they give me power when I see them coming and supporting me.

Q.  How does it feel to win as the top seed here?  Obviously it may be a new development for you to live up to that billing?
SIMONA HALEP:  At the beginning of the tournament, some people asked me if I feel pressure because I'm first seeded.  I said, No, I don't feel, because I didn't think about this.  I just wanted to go on court and to play match by match, because everyone played really well here.
It was a big tournament, tough tournament, and I played with big players like Makarova, Pliskova, she's playing really well and she's serving very strong.  Wozniacki, she was No. 1 two years.
It's like for me it means a lot because I won even if I was top seeded.  When you are top seeded you feel like emotions, but you feel that you have to win the title but it's not true.  Everyone is playing good, and everyone has the chance to win the tournament.  So I'm really happy that I could win the title and I'm just, you know, I'm just, I can say, glad that I could win this title.

Q.  I saw you yesterday having a big dinner with a lot of people.  Friends and family?
SIMONA HALEP:  Every night I had after the matches.  Is my family, my parents, and my very close friends from home.

Q.  Dos it help to have all these people with you at the tournament?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yes, it's really nice.  They gave me power.  In Doha they were in the same formation,  so I will take them every tournament with me (smiling).
It's nice to be happy with your family and your friends.  I'm just enjoying this moment because it's my best in my year, in my life, I can say, and I just want to enjoy the tennis because tennis gives me a lot.

Q.  First point to the last, to my mind the best match was when you played against Makarova.  Do you agree or not?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I agree because was very difficult match.  She's lefty, and she had one match, you know, she beat me in Australia, and I think she was very confident that she can beat me again.
Third set was very tough set and very close set.  I just wanted to fight till the end.  And, yeah, her serving, the second serve is slow but it's very ‑‑yeah, it's very short sometimes, very close to the net.  It's coming in the other way because she's lefty, so it's really tough to return it.

Q.  When I saw your match against Makarova, you were very concentrated but I did not see this when you play against Wozniacki.  How can you explain?
SIMONA HALEP:  In first set when I played against Wozniacki I felt a little bit tired at the beginning of the match, and then I couldn't find the rhythm.

Q.  What does it take to improve your performance, in the Grand Slams, your head‑to‑head results with the likes of Serena?

Q.  How do you plan to improve your results ‑‑
SIMONA HALEP:  In Grand Slams?

Q.  In the current year and matches.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, it's not easy in Grand Slams because it's different pressure.  I'm trying just to take the tournament as normal like here or like every tournament.  There you have more matches.  You have one day off, so you have to manage very well that day off and to stay focused for the next round.
You know, there you can play with No. 80 in the rankings, or it's a bit different, because you have like top player next day and before, previous match, you have like top 80 and everything is different, the mentality and, you know, the way that they are fighting.
So it's really tough to adapt match by match to the, you know, to the different opponents.  That's why I think it's more difficult to win a Grand Slam.

Q.  What are you going to do about it?
SIMONA HALEP:  I'm trying just to, you know, play match by match and to train what I have, you know, less good in my game, just stay focused and just enjoying.
I think that was the secret of my results till now, so I have just to think positive and to go ahead, work hard.

Q.  Some players buy themselves a present or something after a big win or something.  Are you one?  If so, what do you have in mind?
SIMONA HALEP:  Good question.  I have many things in my mind, but I'm not sure what I would choose.
Tonight it's tough to choose.  Maybe tomorrow.  For sure tomorrow I'm going to the mall a little bit to choose something, but not very big.  I'm going home after the tournament, and I will look, I think, for a house.

Q.  Buy a house?

Q.  That's a big present.

Q.  You mentioned you had some physical problems.  How are you feeling now?
SIMONA HALEP:  Tired.  Very tired.  I have pain everywhere.  But it's normal.  I had tough matches.
Tomorrow I have treatment again, so I hope I will be okay for next week, and I hope to recover fast.

Q.  Anything specific?  We heard your hip or something.
SIMONA HALEP:  My rib, my ankle a little bit.  Things like this.  Everywhere.

Q.  Any thought on maybe skipping Doha or not?
SIMONA HALEP:  I'm not sure now.  I cannot say.  I have to relax tomorrow and to see next week.

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