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April 2, 2015

Simona Halep


6‑2, 4‑6, 7‑5

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Just your thoughts on the game.  You almost got there, but didn't work out to your advantage at the end.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I was close, but I lost it.  I'm sad now.  She was too strong at the beginning of the match.  She hit very, very strong the balls.
But, you know, I was fighting until the end, and it's one reason to be happy now.
I was close.  I saw that I can win against her.  I can play like until the end against her.  I was a bit tired in the end, but it's normal.  I have so many matches played already.
It's okay.  She was better than me.  She is better than me because she's No. 1 in the world and she's Serena.  I have just to take the positive things from this tournament, this match, and just go ahead.

Q.  It was a really good fight.  Can we expect now to see more?  Serena hasn't had anyone that's pushed her very hard all the time like you have the last few ones.  Can we expect more matches like this between you two?
SIMONA HALEP:  I think.  I hope.  I think now I know how to play against her and I have now a lot of experience because I had many matches against her.
Like I said before, every match with her, it's like I learn many things from it.  So now I learned that I can be close to her and I can be there in the top.
You know, I feel great now.  I feel okay.  I played good tennis tonight.  The score is important for me, but it's painful to lose like very close in the end.
But it's normal.  I have to accept and just go ahead with positive things and with confidence.

Q.  She's won here seven times.  The fans are very used to seeing her excel here.  Tonight it seemed pretty clear from the crowd that they were in your corner.  The fans seemed to be behind you tonight.  How much did that help you?  Or did you even notice?
SIMONA HALEP:  That is helping me a lot when I see that the people are supporting me everywhere, every time.  It means a lot.
You feel great when you're on court and you hear your name between the points and they are with you, all with you.
So I want just to thank them.  I have many fans everywhere I go, and it's very important for me to have fans.  Tennis is nice.  I love it.  Now I have more pleasure on court when I see that people are coming especially for me.

Q.  I think the television suggested that at the end of the second set you didn't realize it was over.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I didn't realize that the set is over.  I don't know why.  I didn't play for the score.  I played just to try to play my best tennis, to try to be close to her, and just to hit and to fight for every ball.
Yeah, it was very, very strange, that moment for me.

Q.  Watching the match from the side, looked like in the beginning of the match she was playing unbelievably well.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, she did.

Q.  Do you feel like you have a solution in a situation like that, or you have to wait for her to drop her level?
SIMONA HALEP:  I was thinking every game what I have to do to change something.  You know, sometimes you have to just wait and feel the rhythm, to start feeling the rhythm, and just to go and to believe that you can come back.
I did this tonight and it worked very well for me.  I just tried to fight for every point and just to stay there into the match.
I did this, and I think was the great way to be closer to her until the end.

Q.  There was a point where she hit a backhand lob over you.  Incredible point.  Backhand lob winner and you were running back and smiling.

Q.  Why?
SIMONA HALEP:  Because my backhand was not good before that lob, because I should hit down the line I think, because my backhand down the line is pretty good.  I didn't have confidence of that ball, and then she hit unbelievable that lob.
So it was okay.  I mean, she played well.

Q.  Serena said she's a fan of yours, your tennis.  How do you feel about her tennis?  Are you a fan of her tennis and her?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I am.  I am until long time ago, since long time ago.  I learn many things from her.  When she won a Grand Slam I was like a kid, so I like to watch her, how she's playing and fighting until the end.
She's still here No. 1 in the world and winning titles, so it's amazing.  I respect her career and her person.

Q.  We talk a lot about Serena's serve, how fast it is or how powerful she is.  Some players say she's a good player because she has really good defense or her serve is really tough to read.  How do you explain or describe the strengths of her tennis?
SIMONA HALEP:  I explain that she's very strong, she has a lot of power in her body, and her technique, it's really good.  She plays really good tennis, and it's not just about the power.  She knows the game, and she plays like everywhere.  She knows how to hit every ball and where to hit the ball.
She has experience, and it's normal.  I mean, I think she's a complete player.  Like she knows everything.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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