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August 30, 2016
New York, NY, USA
S. HALEP/K. Flipkens
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. I think a lot of people had this match as being tricky. She's had a good week in New Haven and the score doesn't reflect that. How do you feel you were playing today?
SIMONA HALEP: I think it was a very good match for me. I started nervous a little bit, but I managed very well. I hit the ball. I took the time to open the court more, because I knew this very difficult to hit from her slice.
She hit a lot of slices today and was not easy, but I like that kind of the game. When it's slow I have enough time to do everything I want.
I finished some good points, winners, and then the confidence was very high and I could finish in two sets.
Q. How ready did you feel for this tournament?
SIMONA HALEP: 100% ready. I feel good. I feel confident.
I had two good tournaments before coming here. I have no expectations still, but I'm here just to do my job, to enjoy the moment, and to give everything for every match.
Q. You had your best run here last year. You have been going very far in Grand Slams, getting to the final. How ready do you feel you are right now to achieve a title?
SIMONA HALEP: Oh, it's tough to speak about that.
Q. I know it's a little early.
SIMONA HALEP: I wish I could win it, but is not easy to think about that. It's just the first round. I have many matches ahead, and the next round is going to be very tough.
Maybe in my career I will win a Grand Slam. I'm not sure and I don't know if it's gonna happen, but I'm here just to work hard, to get better, and to dream for it.
Q. Your results have been very, very good coming into the US Open, so talk about the level of confidence that you can draw from the recent results that you have been having.
SIMONA HALEP: I can say I'm very confident in myself. I feel the game. I move very well on court. I am positive all the time. Sometimes I get upset on myself, but still helps me to stay motivated and to stay focused.
I try to improve day by day, even if I'm playing a tournament. I'm not thinking about this tournament just; I'm thinking in a big picture.
All my thoughts are just through improvement, not to win the match, just one match.
I think helps me this attitude, and I think that it's important I'm healthy now and I can give everything I have during the matches.
Q. 6-Love, 5-Love match point and --
SIMONA HALEP: You remind me that... (Laughter.)
Q. Was that just concentration?
SIMONA HALEP: Like I said on court, I was nervous to finish the match. 6-0, 5-0 match point against a top 50 player is not that bad. Maybe I was scared that it's too good.
Then I just wanted to do too much at that point, to hit maybe an ace, which is not my favorite shot. I tried too much and then I got a little bit upset with myself and I was rushing.
But then I just said that I had to calm down and to finish the game.
Q. You also said just now that you had no expectations going into this. Has that always been how you approach Grand Slams, or is that something you have tried to make yourself do?
SIMONA HALEP: I tried this thinking just before Montreal. I tried just to think that I have no expectations. I'm playing good tennis. It's normal to win; it's normal to lose. Every player is playing well.
So I have just to keep focused for what I have to do on court and to improve my game.
Q. Is that easy to do?
SIMONA HALEP: It's not easy, because the desire is very big to win and to think that you have to win or you want to win.
But I'm at the big level now of relaxation. I'm relaxed, and I try just to keep that.
Q. You were talking about finishing the match today. Here when you finish the match and you hit the ball up into the stands, are you aiming? You personally, do you aim at anything in particular, or what goes through your mind when you do that?
SIMONA HALEP: Just to hit it right and someone can catch it. Because sometimes I do wrong and it's not nice.
But this court is huge, so I cannot hit very high level. But I tried today. I was pretty strong. (Smiling.)
Q. As you look ahead to the next match, when you're here in New York, is there a particular time you like to play, your favorite time of the US Open?
SIMONA HALEP: I don't believe last year -- last year I played night session. I don't remember if I played, but I like during the day, even if it's hot. On center court is the best feeling. Now we don't have wind and it's perfect atmosphere to play.
Doesn't matter when I play, I just want to play and to make like nice atmosphere down there, to play good tennis.
Q. Normally most players during practice they practice wearing shorts. Normally when they play their matches --
SIMONA HALEP: You like my outfit?
Q. I don't know. I'm asking.
SIMONA HALEP: I love it.
Q. Okay. Fair enough. Do you feel a difference when you play a match not in like a tennis dress or tennis skirt and tennis shorts instead?
SIMONA HALEP: Today I didn't feel different. I was not paying attention on my outfit, to be honest.
But I like it and I love it. I can say I feel very comfy on it and I will ask adidas to make more shorts for me (Smiling.)
It's nice and it's something different so I take it like a very beautiful thing.
Q. A question I always wanted to ask you. So today you're in such a good mood. Something totally different. Tennis, when you started, when you were young and you started tennis, playing tennis and to become a professional, I want to ask you, did you always -- did you ever feel motivated by the old good times of Romanian men's tennis? Of course I know you know Tiriac well, and Nastase. Was this motivation for you?
SIMONA HALEP: I started when I was very young, around four and a half, but to think I want to be professional tennis player it was around 14. It was not easy for me to get the motivation from them because I didn't know them. I never met them before.
With Mr. Tiriac I started to talk two years ago so, yeah, not long again.
With Mr. Nastase I'm not talking very often. Just when I see him, just hello and something like that.
But Virginia Ruzici I have since I was 16, 17 like a manager. Yeah, I can say that it was a motivation because she could win a Grand Slam. That is my dream. And I feel that everything is possible when I have her next to me.
Yeah, it's good motivation, and I try just to keep these people around me to give me motivation and inspiration.
Q. You have said you try to eat a little dessert every day.
SIMONA HALEP: I just have cheesecake. Every day. Yesterday I had a big ice cream on the street.
Q. Any baked goods, bakeries in New York City you're excited about or looking forward to trying?
SIMONA HALEP: Like a dessert?
Q. Yeah, bakery.
SIMONA HALEP: Cheesecake I am eating here and the chocolate ice cream at the machines on the street. It's amazing. (Smiling.) I had double yesterday.
Q. You recently posted some pictures at an amusement park on Instagram.
SIMONA HALEP: Cincinnati. I tried a roller coaster.
Q. First time?
SIMONA HALEP: First time in my life and never again. (Laughter.)
I felt that I'm dying. Darren said he was going on all the machines, and I said I'm not going to do that. But he said it was a white one, and I didn't see completely. Like I just saw the end, and the end was straight. He said, Come on. It's pretty easy. It's the lightest one.
I said about what is that? He said, just the speed, but straight. I said, Oh, I love speed, so I can go.
When I went there and that machine was going down, I felt that I'm dying. I said, Darren, never again. He was laughing when I said. It was tough, but it was nice. Good experience.
Q. Are you a screamer or were you silently scared?
SIMONA HALEP: Nothing. I didn't say anything. I couldn't breathe. No, I didn't scream.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports