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September 28, 2015

Simona Halep


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How are you?
SIMONA HALEP: I'm good, thanks (smiling).

Q. You want to talk about what you did after US Open. You mentioned in NewYork City after the semifinal feeling a bit tired, you want to go back to your home country and get recharged.
SIMONA HALEP: I was home, yeah, for five days. Was short, but was good. I was a little bit tired after U.S. season because I played many matches, tough matches.
But I took a break. I had a break without tennis. Then I just started again to practice because I had to play in Guangzhou.
Now I feel well. I feel ready to start this tournament and I feel recovered. But still it's a bit of, you know, difficult to start again, to be concentrated during the match because I had many matches before.

Q. You've changed coaches twice this year. How is it working out with the new coach?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I changed, I can say, once. I had Victor Ionita first for six months, five months. Then I changed. I have, Razwanza (phonetic) who is hitting partner more. The coach is Darren Cahill. I started with him. He was close to my team since Indian Wells.
So I didn't change two coaches. I'm still working with Darren Cahill and with Razwanza (phonetic) like hitting partner.

Q. We all know that your idol is Justine Henin. She quite appreciates you. Now since she is qualified to be a coach, have you ever thought about getting her to be your coach?
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't know that she wants to be a coach. I didn't think about this. I have Darren now and I don't want to change him. I want to continue to work with him. It's just what I want.

Q. You've already qualified for Singapore. Obviously there's couple big tournaments here. Motivation‑wise and everything, how do you manage the next few weeks?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it's tough to answer this question because, like I said, I had a few good matches in USA, and now it's tough to be concentrated again.
I have no expectations here. I just want to play my best, to prepare, I can say, Singapore. You know, here I have also tough matches. Every match is difficult.
I just want to give everything I have these weeks. After I finish in Beijing, rest a little bit and be ready for Singapore.
My goal this year was Singapore. So I'm really happy that I qualified there. I'm looking forward to play it because I miss it.

Q. How would you compare this season to last season? Do you think the season was easier, harder, and what made it so?
SIMONA HALEP: I think this year till now was better than last year. I had my biggest title this year. I have three titles this year. So, you know, even if I lost in first and second rounds during Roland Garros and Wimbledon, I did semifinals in US Open for first time. I did two finals before.
I'm pretty happy with my season. I improved a lot in my game. Mentally I'm more relaxed, more confident. Now I started to feel again that I enjoy to play. I enjoy every match. I think that's the most important. In the middle of the year, I lost it. Now I'm really happy that I have it back.

Q. Leading off what you just said about last year to this year, what do you think you learnt from your 2014 year that helped you this year?
SIMONA HALEP: Actually I can say because of last year, this year I have learned many things. To play without pressure when I have to defend something, to defend points or the title. I have learned that if I'm relaxed and I'm enjoying what I'm doing, if I'm, like, concentrated during the matches, it's much better. I can win tough matches.
Last year was a good year because I had results in the Grand Slams, like big results. For this year wasn't so good during Roland Garros and Wimbledon. But I played well at the beginning of the year and in USA.
I started to play better in USA. That means I'm stronger and I feel better there. Last year I played well, but didn't was like I wanted it to be.
I think I had a lot of improvement in many ways in my game and in my life also.

Q. Because you played the first semifinal in the US Open, we never got a chance to ask you, what are your thoughts about Serena's loss in the second semifinal? Were you surprised when Roberta beat her? Do you think for next season, everyone has a chance to win a Grand Slam?
SIMONA HALEP: I was very surprised Serena lost. I think Roberta was, too. It's not easy to play against Serena. I played many times against her and I know how strong she is.
But like I say all the time, everyone has a chance always during the matches, during the big matches. When you play against Serena, it's a big match.
Of course, for me, I was disappointed that I lost that match in the semifinals. But still I had only positives from that tournament.
About Serena, I think that next year she will be same strong like she was this year. I don't know if she's going to win again three Grand Slams, then if she has again the chance to do like four of them. But still I think that she's going to be strong.

Q. Have you had an opportunity to hit on the new center court?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I had today.

Q. Now you're a hard court expert. What is your sense of the court? How is it bouncing and playing?
SIMONA HALEP: I like it. It's in the middle. It's not too fast and it's not too slow. The ball is bouncing a little bit. But also you can hit it.
I think it's a good court. I think it's a good court for me. I hope to have good matches. Maybe I will play there first match. We'll see.

Q. With Darren, he's not with you in China. How does that coaching happen when he's not with you? Is it text messages, WhatsApp?
SIMONA HALEP: Phone calls and WhatsApp. I speak with him.
It's not easy that he's not here, but it's okay. I can manage this. I had many months without a coach. So I'm used to this.
I'm okay. I'm waiting him to Singapore because he's coming.

Q. Obviously you have been in China a couple times. Is there any good memories you can share with us? You were in Guangzhou last week, you played China Open a couple times. Are there any really cultural difference shocks to you, Oh, my God, this is a totally different culture than what we have in Romania?
SIMONA HALEP: I have good memories from China. I won Shenzhen this year. Last year I played quarterfinals in Beijing. So I had good matches.
But, yeah, it's very different than my country. Everything is big. Many people. The food is different. Is not easy for me. But I'm already used to this. I have many years coming here already.
So it's fine. You know, I need few days more to adapt. But it's fine. I feel great.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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