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March 18, 2015

Simona Halep


S. HALEP/C. Suarez Navarro
6‑7, 6‑1, 6‑1

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Can you talk about adjustments you made after the first set and a little bit about your return game?  I think you broke her almost every time the next two sets, I think.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, first set was a little bit strange because I started very nervous and she made 4‑0 very fast.  Then I came back, but I couldn't finish in the right way for me.
I just wanted to stay very focused for every ball, every point, every shot, but didn't work in first set.
Then I changed my tactic a little bit just to play more into the court and to play more aggressive, to open the court more, and to take the ball very fast.
I wanted to try just to make her run a lot, because I know that she's moving well and she's hitting really well close to the body.  So I tried just to open the court and to finish the points very quickly.

Q.  Seems like you can't win these matches in two.  You have had a lot of three‑set matches.  Can you talk about that?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I knew it would be a tough match today.  I played a few times against her, and I expected to run a lot and to have like two, three hours to play two, three hours.
It's not easy to start the match very well and to keep like two sets to play your best tennis and to finish the game very fast.
But, you know, doesn't matter if you lose first set or second set.  You just have to continue the game and to continue to believe that you can still win.

Q.  You said you were nervous at the start.  Was it just because of your past performances against her?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah.  I was nervous because I knew that I have to run a lot today and to fight for every ball, because she's still fighting, as well.  It's not easy.
I didn't want to stop like believing and stop have confidence, because she knows how to take advantage, you know, during the match.
So I just tried to stay there and to play for every ball.

Q.  Quite a change in the conditions today.  Did that affect anything at all?
SIMONA HALEP:  No, didn't affect me.  After the match I saw that it was a little storm, but, you know, I was lucky that I finished the match.  Everything is good here.  I'm in the semifinals, so everything is in the right way.
I'm really happy and I'm enjoying this tournament.

Q.  Can you talk about making the semifinals two years in a row now?  You sounded pretty excited about the prospects of playing Serena.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I'm waiting to see against who I will play after tomorrow.  It's really nice to be again in semifinals two years in a row.  Last year I had a good tournament, and this year I can say it was better than last year.
I feel much more now the ball and the game.  I'm more confident, and, you know, I think I have my chance in the semifinals.  So I will go to fight and to believe that I can win the match.

Q.  Can you clarify that?  You said you feel better, but it seems like last year you had a smoother run to the semifinals.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, but, you know, last year I remember that last year I didn't feel the game pretty well.
So now I feel much better.  I feel the game and I feel every shot I hit, so that's why I tell you that I am feeling much‑‑ you know, I'm feeling better because, you know, I dominate the matches till the end.
So that is the most important for me, just to find my style and to play my game every match.

Q.  Do you feel any different on the tour this year compared to last year?  Bouchard was commenting the other day saying that she now feels like the hunted rather than somebody chasing and being the hunter.  Do you feel that, as well?
SIMONA HALEP:  I can say just that every player who is playing against me wants to beat me because I'm in the top.  I was in the same situation before two years, so I know the feeling.
I'm very focused for every match.  That's why I'm telling always that every match is important and every match is a big challenge for me.
You know, I don't feel pressure or I don't feel like I'm hunted.  Just I want to stay relaxed and to stay focused and to play my game.  Doesn't matter anything.  Doesn't matter the results for me.

Q.  When you say that you're feeling the game more in the number of three‑setters you've had, is it because you're able to keep calm in those situations now and that's what you mean by feeling the game?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah.  I'm more confident.  I feel the game better.  You know, when you are confident you feel that everything is going in the right way for you.  So that's why I say that I feel better now.

Q.  Even when you dropped the a first set?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, even if I lose first set.

Q.  Just in case, can you talk about Bacsinszky if you play against her?
SIMONA HALEP:  I played her already this year.  I like playing against her.  I think I have a chance to win against her.  But every match is difficult, like I said.
She's running a lot.  She hits the ball pretty strong.  I know her game, and, you know, doesn't matter against who I play.  Will be a tough match, because the finals, everyone can win.

Q.  Can you also talk about momentum?  Serena's won 14 straight matches going into tonight's match, and Bacsinszky has won 15 straight.  How much do you think that helps and how much does it help mentally going into matches when you're on streaks like that?
SIMONA HALEP:  It's tough question.  I don't know, you know.
Serena is Serena.  Is No. 1 in the world.  She is very strong.
Bacsinszky has her chance to win tonight.  It's not‑‑ you know, it's tough to speak about their match.  I just want to see who is winning and against who I will play.

Q.  If it is Serena that you play, will you think back to what happened in Singapore at all?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, there was a big day.  It was a big day for me.  The biggest day, let's say.  (Smiling.)
You know, I don't want to think about the tournament because it was like indoor tournament so it was in the groups.  I don't feel that it will be the same here.
But still I'm confident and I know that I have my chance to win, but I know as well that she's a strong player and she knows how to manage every situation during the matches.

Q.  What do you think you learned from both of those matches against her?
SIMONA HALEP:  I learned that, you know, if I have courage to go on court and just to think that I can win, I can do it.  If I'm nervous and I have emotions, it's much difficult to play against her.
You have just to believe and just to go to your game and try everything to win.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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