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October 25, 2015

Simona Halep

SIngapore, Singapore

S. HALEP/F. Pennetta
6‑0, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What is ut with you and bagels and Singapore? Do you have any explanation?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I don't have, but I feel good here. I feel the court. I feel the game. I have great memories from last year, so I came with confidence.
Yeah, I played I think very solid today.

Q. Are you the twin sister of the one who lost to Flavia Pennetta at the US Open? You're a different Halep.
SIMONA HALEP: No, I'm the same Halep but in the good way. There was the bad way.

Q. So what did you change so much? Her? You? Both?
SIMONA HALEP: I think both. I think there she had more confidence. She has more energy to win the match. She played better. There I was a little bit down. I was a little bit tired I can say. I didn't play the right game against her in US Open.
Here I was well‑prepared and I knew how to play against her. I was expecting that she's going to play the same like in US Open, and I knew how to adapt the game.
So I was solid. I was smart‑aggressive, I can say. I didn't use overpower. I just opened the court and I tried to finish the point.

Q. You served unbelievably well today.
SIMONA HALEP: Not really.

Q. Well, you lost three points in the first set on your serve.

Q. Not many in the second.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, the second set was very solid.

Q. How would you say your level compares in this 6‑Love 6‑3 win to your first round 6‑love, 6‑2 over Serena. Many changes from your perspective?
SIMONA HALEP: I feel the same now. On this course I feel my game. I feel that I can play my best tennis here. I can say that I didn't play my best today, but I played good tennis. I played solid. I was dominating the match.
I feel good. It's the only one thing that I feel it, I feel now. I have confidence, and I just want to stay focused, because after tomorrow I will have a tough match.
I expect every match to be difficult. So I just want to stay focused and to believe that I have my chance.

Q. First matches can be quite tricky. Do you think the way you won it sets a tone for the rest of the tournament and is a message for the rest of competitors?
SIMONA HALEP: No. I'm thinking just about myself. I just wanted to start the tournament pretty well. Always first round is the most important because it's always difficult to start a tournament.
I think I did a great job. I had one week here and I was preparing very hard in a good way. I knew that I can play good tennis here. I was well‑prepared. You know, it's just day by day, match by match, and we will see if the next one will be the same.
But like I said, I expect a tough one.

Q. When you talk about this wasn't your best performance, that you think you could play better, what are the things you were not disappointed with, but you think you could have done better?
SIMONA HALEP: I'm not disappointed about my game today, but I feel like it's not the perfect game. I always say this (smiling.)
It was a normal game. It was solid. Like I said, I had confidence. I hit pretty well with the forehand. So I'm improving in my game. I want to improve more, I can say, on the backhand. When I have a short ball just to finish it and not to restart the point.
So I have many things that I just want to work again on them, still continue to work. I think return was good, so everything in a big picture was good. But still, I'm not 100% satisfied.

Q. You said yesterday you've had a bit of an up and down year. Looking forward to next season, what would you hope to improve? What would you want to achieve next year?
SIMONA HALEP: This year I think I improved in my game. I had downs in the middle of the year, but I can say that it helped me because now I'm more relaxed. I'm more like focused for what I have to do, not about the result.
So I think I improve more in my mental.

Q. I remember I tried to cheer you up in Roland Garros when you came in. You were very sad.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I remember. We were laughing. But I don't know why.

Q. Yeah. So were you think at that time that the second part of the year could have been so good? You're No. 2 in the world, and, you know, did you expect something like that or you were so depressed you wouldn't believe it yourself?
SIMONA HALEP: I wasn't depressed, but after Roland Garros and Wimbledon actually I said that I lost year, so I have nothing ‑‑ I didn't have expectation for the second half of the year, and I just came to play relaxed. I just came to, you know, find a way to come back.
But I didn't expect to do that good like I did in USA. I think Darren helped me pushing me to believe in myself. My team was close to me. So everything was in a positive way, and that's why maybe I'm here and playing good again.

Q. Are the improvements that you're making with Darren, are they more technical or tactical?
SIMONA HALEP: Both. I can say both. We are speaking about how to play. We are speaking about how to hit. So both of them.
He's very positive, and that's why now I believe more in myself.

Q. Can we go back to the semis of the US Open. Did you feel nervous?
SIMONA HALEP: You want it speak about that again?

Q. We do. It was a good one. Was it nerves or just tired? Obviously you had a really long match before that against Vika.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I can say I was a little bit tired. Also nerves. Was first time, first semifinals of US Open. I beat Flavia before in Miami and I knew that she can play good tennis. I knew that she's very solid.
Maybe that day that we had between the quarterfinals and the day when we played I think wasn't too good for me. I was very tired after Azarenka's match, and then I was like without energy Friday when we played.
I just want to take the positive things from that match. I have learned about how to manage the situation when you play semifinals, and I hope to have many more and to pass that bad feeling.

Q. Why the nerves when the year before that at Roland Garros you reached the final, you were very close, and you get back to the US Open a year later and you're nervous once again?
SIMONA HALEP: I need to do final for every Grand Slam, then I will be okay. (Smiling.)
No, every tournament is different. Every tournament I have nerves. Every match I have nerves. For me it's normal. But I have just to learn how to manage them.
In every match I have different nerves, so it's tough to explain. It's just about my inside.

Q. Just back to here last year. You beat Serena, first time you played, then you went to the final here and Serena won. Was that nerves or did Serena play way too good?
SIMONA HALEP: She started to play ‑‑ after I had 2‑1 and break point she started to play stronger. If I would win that game, I think the match would be different.
But I couldn't, and she came back stronger. She knows how to manage the situation. She has a lot of confidence, a lot of experience how to play the finals.
I was very happy that I'm in the finals, so it was very difficult for me to stay there. But I was happy, and I didn't let the negative things coming over me.

Q. How difficult is it for you to handle the pressure, especially from the people in Romania, because you are a superstar in Romania?
SIMONA HALEP: I am not thinking that I am superstar. I am a tennis player. I know that Romanians want me to win all the matches, but it's fine. It's normal. I try just to do everything I can every match to win them, but I know it's not possible to win every match.
I stay focused, motivated, and I try just to handle my emotions, nerves, and the work what I'm doing on court during the practices.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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