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August 14, 2015

Simona Halep


S. HALEP/A. Radwanska
0‑6, 6‑3, 6‑1

Q. Hi, Simona. What do you attribute the turnaround for you today after that first set, and what were you thinking? What was going through your mind after 6‑0 in the opening set?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah. It was difficult, because I was a bit tired when I started the match, and I didn't have time to warm up very well before because it was raining, and the schedule was a little bit complicated.
But after that set, I said that I have to change something. I started the match, and I was hitting the balls very strong, and it was not a good idea playing against Radwanska because she knows how to blow the balls and how to make you run during the point. So I just tried to keep moral ease during the point and to make her run, like with short crosses and everything. So I think I did a good change, and that's why maybe I won.

Q. You're 28 and 3 on hardcourts this year and 8 and 6 on the other surfaces combined. What is it about hardcourts that's working out so well for you?
SIMONA HALEP: Looks like I like to play on hardcourts. I am pretty confident on the hardcourt, and I think I have the game to play here. I just feel that I can run very well on hardcourt and I can take the ball very fast, to be aggressive. So maybe I'm practicing, you know, well just for this surfaces because I like to‑‑ you know, I like to finish the point as soon as possible, but sometimes with some players it's not easy, so I think I have a good game for hardcourt and it's my favorite for sure.

Q. You found your form in the middle of that second set, especially that scramble point at 3‑3. And do you feel that you played your best two sets since Miami, and if you feel that you have another level for the semifinals?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah. I think I played my best tennis since Miami. In Miami I played a great matches there against Serena I was amazing, and I had confidence that on hardcourt I can play my best tennis always.
I come from bad results in French Open and Wimbledon, but the players always have like ups and downs and I just wanted to stay focused to still believing in myself that I can do some results this year. But I had no expectations coming here. So I was relaxed, and maybe that's why I play semifinals here.

Q. Yesterday's match and today's match and throughout the campaign, do you feel the level of the tour continuing to go up and up in terms of how the depth in the competition, where you have top 50, top 100 players giving you guys at the top like tough matches? Do you feel it continues to go up each and every time you step on the court?
SIMONA HALEP: You know, I had a very difficult draw here. I played with top players. So it was a big challenge when I saw the draw for me, this tournament. I just wanted to, you know, to try everything to win the first match, because I knew that it's going to be very important for me. So after I beat Jankovic in two sets, I said that I have enough power to continue the tournament and to continue, you know, the big victories here.
Every match is a good match for me, and day by day I am better, I think. Always I was like this, and here I feel that 100 percent I'm better than when I came here.

Q. And one last question from me: Your fans have been just tremendous throughout the course, in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami and even here.
SIMONA HALEP: Everywhere.

Q. Everywhere. I mean it's everywhere in general. So with you getting that whole motivation, that spirit from them, how does it feel overall and how that gives you that extra boost that you need, especially today when you're playing someone as tough as Aga and coming back as you did after that first set?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, you know, today when I was down 0‑5, they were supporting me like I was up 5‑0. So it was amazing, and they gave me power just to stay there, still fighting for the victory, you know.
Sometimes you take the power from the crowd, and today helped me a lot. I stayed there very focused, and I said that I can do it with them.
I have them close to everywhere where I go, so it's a good crowd, and I really want to thank them for supporting me always.

Q. Today was your 300th career win. Do you remember your first?
SIMONA HALEP: My first? I didn't understand.

Q. Today was your 300th career win.

Q. Yeah. So I'm just wondering, do you have a memory from your first, or one of the first wins of your career?
SIMONA HALEP: I think it was a long time ago.

Q. I think so, too.
SIMONA HALEP: No. I don't remember, but for sure it was very important for me.

Q. And on that 300 wins, what do you think looking back is the most significant win for you? Which one stands out?
SIMONA HALEP: Serena, last year in Singapore, I think is the best winning for me. But every match is important at this level because you play with top players, and always you have a big challenge when you go on court. So every day a victory is important.

Q. Do you feel those 300 wins, like physically? Does it feel like you've won 300 matches?
SIMONA HALEP: I want more. So that's why I am preparing every day. I'm working hard and everything like this. So I wait more results in my career and I don't want to give up now. I just want to look forward for the next tournaments.

Q. And then just a little bit of an off‑court question, but Virginia Ruzici, like can you talk a little bit about her influence on you, both with your tennis and your career and also just life wise, how important has she been for you?
SIMONA HALEP: She's been very important for me when she got me. I was like 16 years old, and it was important for me at that moment because a former champion, Grand Slam champion came to help me, to be my manager. About tennis we didn't speak too much. Just some experiences like how is when you play finals, big finals and you play big tournaments on big courts. So I speak every day with her. So it's a nice lady, and of course, she made me stronger in some points, and that's why I really want to thank her, and I will keep her I think for all my career.

Q. And what have you been happy about the most in your three matches here?
SIMONA HALEP: I'm very happy how I was fighting every match, because I had downs, many I can say in this match also was very tough to stay there focused after first set. But you know, I found a way to fight again, to be me, because I lost this confidence in two months. It was really difficult for me to stay there, to concentrate, to be concentrated for every match. So I'm back now. I'm back in business I can say. And yeah, I feel great now, and I just want to keep this in myself.

Q. Earlier this week you mentioned when you played Rogers cup a few years ago you had one of your biggest career wins at the time against Kuznetsova. I'm wondering what you remember about that match and whether that makes this tournament a little bit special for you, especially coming back this year?
SIMONA HALEP: I remember that it was a very big winning for me. I don't know the score, but I think it was in two sets. At that moment I thought that I cannot beat someone like Kuznetsova because she's very strong, I was very young at that moment. And you know, every‑‑ she was like Grand Slam champion, so made me more confident and gave me like power that I can be in the top.

Q. And just do you ever like think back about that memory when you're back here in Toronto this year? Does it make this tournament special in any way or you just like it here?
SIMONA HALEP: This tournament is special because I have big crowd, many Romanians here. It's like I'm home. And for me every tournament I take something special from every tournament. So wherever I play, I play on big courts. So that's the most important thing, and I feel great always when I have big crowd.

Q. And just last question, you were saying that hardcourt is your favorite surface, and you obviously have good record on the surface this year. I'm wondering, then, going forward for the US Open whether you maybe have higher expectations for that one or do you try to keep the pressure pretty low?
SIMONA HALEP: No. I just want to think about this tournament I'm still on and I don't want to think about the US Open. I have many tournaments before. I just want to be focused for every match. I don't care what I'm going to do in the US Open. I just want to play my best tennis every day.

Q. Simona, can you kind of describe how for you the pressure feels different at a WTA tour event versus at a Grand Slam?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah. Good question, because always we speak about Grand Slams like something very big. But we have to take those tournaments like everyone which you play every week, because these tournaments are pretty big, and it's like a Grand Slam. Here you play in the first round with top players. So it's not a big difference. But in our mind I think the Grand Slam is the most important.
I don't want to think too much about this, because this year I wasn't too good. I thought that I have to repeat the result in the French openly, so it wasn't too good. But you know, for me now, after a long break home, I just reset my mind and I said that I have to play every match, every tournament and every tournament if I can play like semis, final, it's fine. So I don't think about Grand Slams anymore.

Q. And just going back to this tournament, you either have Errani or Tsurenko tomorrow. You had a tough one against Tsurenko last year at Wimbledon, but you've won against Sara. And Sara you've had two tough battles with her and the last one you won. Any thoughts on how the rest of that match is going to go and what you have to do in the semifinals to get to the final?
SIMONA HALEP: So I'm used to have tough matches here. So tomorrow it's another one, it's another day, I hope a good day. But I know both of them pretty well, and I know how to play against them. I hope just to start the match better than today and to have like a good plan when I go on court.
I know that Errani is running very well, Tsurenko is hitting the ball strong. So different players. I will see after they finish against who I play, and tomorrow, not today. Tomorrow I'll think about the match. Today, rest.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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