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July 2, 2016

Simona Halep

London, England

S. HALEP/K. Bertens
6‑4, 6‑3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Kiki obviously has won more matches than anyone else on tour this season. How happy are you with your performance today?
SIMONA HALEP: I'm really happy that I won this match. It was important for me. It was a big challenge before this one. I knew she's in good form and she plays good tennis in this moment. She did a great job in French Open, so she had a lot of confidence before this match.
But I went there just to play my best, to be aggressive because I knew that it's the only chance that I can win the match, to be aggressive and to do my game.
I did well, and, yeah, definitely I'm very happy about this win.

Q. Are you surprised by how much she has improved this year? Because this time last year she lost 6‑Love, 6‑Love. She's had an incredible season this season.
SIMONA HALEP: I'm not surprised, because I knew she's a good player. I played many years ago against her and she beat me. I knew that she can be a good player because she's very strong. She has a different game, a little bit under the ball and the ball is not easy to return.
But, yeah, I think it's a good thing for her, and she will go like up more and more.

Q. Once you got the lead, it seemed like you played maybe a couple of loose games. I was wondering there if it was just nerves or you went away from your game plan, lack of focus?
SIMONA HALEP: You mean about...

Q. Once you got like 4‑2 up in the first set you played a few loose games and a little bit in the second set, as well.
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't do like I wanted. It just happen. She played well. At 4‑2, she came back well. Then I just wanted to stay focused, to continue to do my game, because I had to serve pretty well today.
The second serve I knew that has to be stronger because she returns well. And on grass you have no chance if you serve like less power.
I was running well today. I was catching dropshots, unbelievable dropshots of her. Yeah, I got more confident after few games. I felt that I had the game to win the match.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about what Darren Cahill has added?
SIMONA HALEP: What he told me before?

Q. And in general what he's added to your game.
SIMONA HALEP: Actually, I think I have the same game, just more aggressive. And I try just to stay closer to the baseline but not just there because with strong players it's difficult to return the balls.
Yeah, I'm moving better since I started to work with him. Definitely the return is improving and also the serve. I change few things, and now I think I serve pretty well.

Q. At the time since you started working with him full time, there have been a lot of the top men players have been looking for new coaches at different times and taken new different coaches on. Do you feel that you got in at just the right time to have him?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I think it was great timing. But I started to work with him last year in Indian Wells actually. Even if he was doing the job for adidas, he was next to me all the time.
Yeah, it was great timing and I'm happy that I have him.

Q. What were you pleased with the most in your game?
SIMONA HALEP: Everything. Actually, I'm happy with the way I played. I expected a tough match. She didn't give up at all till the last point.
I played well. I mean, I felt every ball. I felt my legs. The court was very safe. I could run like to all the balls.
Yeah, everything was good. And also the roof was good for me today (smiling).

Q. Do you feel you're playing as well as you did when you reached the semifinal here?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, but I'm a little bit different. I think mentality, as well. Two years older so it's important. (Smiling.)
I think I have a stronger game now. But, yeah, I cannot compare. That time was that time, and now I'm like I am now. And I'm more confident now, for sure.

Q. Initially there was some worry about you pulling out because of your Achilles injury from Birmingham. In a weird way, has that been helpful for you because you came here earlier, could get comfortable with the surroundings and practicing a lot?
SIMONA HALEP: Actually, I wanted to play Eastbourne but Darren told me I have to come here to practice. It's better to get used to this club.
It was a good idea. I came here very early, and I practiced every day, hard practices. I wanted to play in Birmingham, but the Achilles didn't let me play. I mean, three days I had unbelievable pain and I couldn't walk and then gone.
And here, after few days I started to feel it again but next day was off. So I cannot say anything about this Achilles. He's going as he wants, as it wants. (Laughter.)
 Yeah, hopefully I will be able to play like my best tennis and to move like my best.

Q. We don't know your next opponent. Can you talk about each one of them separately?
SIMONA HALEP: It's Keys against Cornet? Yeah. (Smiling.) What should I say about them? They are strong players. I know both of them. I played many times against them. Grass is always difficult, because you never know what is gonna happen.
But I'm ready to play. I just want to enjoy it. It's one of my best results this year so far, so I have nothing to lose. I just want to go there and try my best.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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