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January 15, 2016
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
S. KUZNETSOVA/S. Halep
7-6, 4-6, 6-3
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. That was a nearly three-hour match today. So many twists and turns. Were you happy with your level or disappointed to lose?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I can say I'm a little bit disappointed that I lost this match. First set I had many chances to finish it.
But I give her credit. She played really well today. She has heavy game, a lot of topspin. I tried to do my game. I tried to have a good match today here before Melbourne. I'm okay. I think I played pretty okay.
But I didn't stay focus for every point, so it's not that bad. I'm not very sad that I lost, but I can say that I am disappointed about it.
Q. The prospect of maybe having to play the finals as well tonight, how did you feel about that?
SIMONA HALEP: I don't have to play anymore because I lost it, so...
Yeah, I don't think about that. I had to win the semis first and then to think about the final.
It's okay. The rain is still on so we have to go through this.
Q. Physically were you 100%? You seemed to be moving very well today.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I feel good. I'm happy that I didn't have pain today with my Achilles. I feel ready to play matches, and hopefully I will be healthy for all two weeks, maybe, in Melbourne.
Q. The draw was released this morning for the Australian Open. Have you had a chance to find out your first round opponent is?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, my team told me about who I play first round. I heard I play against qualifier. That's what I know. That's all.
Q. You don't look ahead?
SIMONA HALEP: No. Don't tell me.
Q. Never look at it at all? Once in a while?
SIMONA HALEP: No.
Q. What about the other players?
SIMONA HALEP: No. Yeah, I don't care about the draw. I have to take match by match and to try to do my best always.
Q. Did you get what you needed preparation-wise out of this tournament?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I had three good matches here. I stayed about two months without official match, so I'm okay now. I'm happy that I could play here and I did three good matches.
Q. What do you think about Svetlana's level. She's ranked 25, a little bit lower than before. How would you say she's playing compared to her peak?
SIMONA HALEP: I think she's in a good mood now. She has a good, solid game. She's 25, but she can be like top 20 easy, in my opinion, with her game.
She is Grand Slam champion, so she's a good player. I don't know if she's coming in top 20, but she has a good chance to be there because she has the game.
Q. Last year I think you lost to Makarova quarterfinals.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I remember very well.
Q. You weren't happy about that one.
SIMONA HALEP: No.
Q. Going in this time, maybe you can play a little bit better, a little more confident this time.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, actually after Australian Open last year I played against her in Dubai and I was completely different. I know now how to manage, I can say, if I have a tough match.
Still, every match is difficult at this level. I want just to give everything I have and to stay positive all match and with the attitude to be good.
Today I struggled a little bit with attitude, but it's okay. I didn't have many matches in last couple of months, so it's okay. I'm looking forward to start Melbourne.
Q. Who is the major favorite? I assume going to be Serena. I know she hasn't played since the US Open, but...
SIMONA HALEP: I don't want to say anymore who's the favorite to win a Grand Slam.
Q. Outside of yourself though, who do you expect to do very well?
SIMONA HALEP: It's tough. You see this tournament many withdraws; top 10 are struggling a little bit with injuries; so you never know with the Grand Slam.
Like in US Open, Vinci, Pennetta did final. Of course Serena has a chance because she's very strong, but she didn't play at all. We'll see. I don't want to say straight who is going to be the champion.
Q. Coming in as world No. 2 are you ready to handle the expectation?
SIMONA HALEP: I don't have expectations. I was injured. I didn't play many matches before. I go to Melbourne to try everything I can and to give my best. It's all what I have to do now and what I can to do now.
So no expectations. Just enjoying and just trying to fight every match. Of course I want to win many matches, but we will see if it's going to happen.
Q. How much has it helped you knowing that you've played through a lot of matches this week with your injury? Does it help you mentally?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, helping me a lot, because today I played pain-free. First match actually. I'm okay. I feel that the injury is okay.
Actually, I knew that it is nothing dangerous because I had MRI. Still, when you have pain you are scared. So now I am okay, and I feel that it's going to be okay next tournament.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports