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January 19, 2016

Simona Halep

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

S. ZHANG/S. Halep

6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was your assessment of that match? How did it go wrong for you?
SIMONA HALEP: I think wasn't my good day, but I give her a lot of credit because I think she played really well. She played without fear and she hit every ball.

So she had good rhythm. Yeah, I think I played a little bit too short in the first set. Then she was dominating me because she felt the ball really well.

Then I tried to change. I tried to stay there. But, yeah, at 3-1 I had the chance to go three the set, the second set, but didn't happen.

So, yeah, she beat me. Yeah, she was better today. It's tough. I'm really disappointed. But it's only one day, only one match. Tomorrow, it's a new day. I have to look forward and to stay motivated. I have many matches in forward.

Q. Were you surprised how she was going for the shots? You played her once before. That was almost four years ago and you won the match easily. Today she wasn't feeling like really fear to play a No. 2 seed.
SIMONA HALEP: She had confidence. She had three matches here already in the quallies. Yeah, she didn't have fear. She hit all the balls. I think she played much better than Indian Wells few years ago, but I think I let her play her best tennis. I didn't hit very strong and I didn't hit with good strength.

So, yeah, it happened and she was better today.

Q. Do you think you couldn't play your best tennis because of the injury you have, the fear in your mind, to prevent you playing your tennis?
SIMONA HALEP: Today I haven't pain. I had not pain. I didn't feel the pain. I had many problems in this period before coming here, so I can say that I am a little bit down mentally because I was very sick home. Then I came here with Achilles again. So it's tough to be positive, 100%, and try everything.

But I did. I think I did everything I could today. It was all I could do today. So I am okay, but disappointed, of course.

Q. In the last couple years here in Melbourne you've been further in the tournament. You sat at that desk and have been not very happy with the way you lost the last couple years. You seem a little bit more positive after this one, even though it's an early loss. Is that fair to say? If so, why?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, when I played here two years before, and last year I lost in the quarters because I was blocked, I couldn't manage the situation, the emotions.

But today was different. Today I think I was okay. Was only about the game. I played not my best tennis. I played too short. I played too soft. She could do everything with the ball.

It's okay. I don't want to make this match like dramatic. It happened. You know, everyone can lose. Everyone can win. I know that. I have just to take it like it is and go ahead.

Q. Did you feel better physically on court than you did in Sydney?
SIMONA HALEP: I played without pain today so I'm okay. Yeah, I'm still thinking about the injury because it's normal. I had really big pain in the Brisbane, but now I'm okay and I'm happy for that.

So we will see. I will go to check again my leg and we will see. But hopefully I'm okay.

Q. Some players prefer to try and take a break to make sure an injury is gone. Do you think you're going to need to do that at any point or you're confident the injury's behind you?
SIMONA HALEP: I did. I had a break when I felt pain at this Achilles after Singapore, and before, as well. But now was like came straightaway after I arrived in Brisbane. When I went off of the plane I felt the pain and I couldn't walk anymore.

I'm okay. I don't believe that I need break, but I will take few days I need mentally, and then I will start working hard again because is just a tournament and I have many more ahead.

Q. What is your next event?
SIMONA HALEP: Fed Cup normally, and then maybe Dubai and Doha.

Q. How have your practices been? Have you been able to practice the way that you want, hit the ball the way that you want in practice, but maybe it's just not happening in the matches? Or are there signs in practice that maybe the forehand isn't working or the backhand isn't great or something and it's carrying through into the match?
SIMONA HALEP: No, it went very well. In the morning, as well, the warmup. It's just because I had no matches maybe. I started the year with some problems. Maybe that's why I was a little bit down mentally.

But, no, normally in the practice I'm okay and everything went well n the right way. And also off-season I was practicing really hard and really well. So everything went well.

But I need time. I need time to make solid the things that I changed and the things that I want to improve. I can say I am a little bit lost on court, but I need time and I'm sure that I will come back stronger soon.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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