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September 26, 2016

Simona Halep

Wuhan, Hubei, China

S. HALEP/I. Begu

6-3, 2-0 (ret.)

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously not the way you would have wanted to win. How did you feel out there, especially that it's humid and hot?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I feel sorry for her that she got injured. I know how it is and it's not easy.

I think I played well from the beginning of the match. She played really well today. I was a little bit stronger in the end of the set. To go at 4-1, I had a long distance between us, the score.

I think I served well. I returned very well today. I feel great because I played a good tennis after two weeks off, and also after an injury.

Q. Did she tell you what was wrong with her?
SIMONA HALEP: No. I just told her that I'm sorry for her and I wish her to get well soon.

Q. With the injury and everything, you said you were pain-free when you were practicing.
SIMONA HALEP: Pain-free.

Q. 100%?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah. It's good.

Q. What did you think that you did particularly well today?
SIMONA HALEP: I think I was strong enough for her shots. She started the match playing very aggressive and very hard-hitting. I think I stayed there close to the baseline. I just returned the ball stronger a little bit.

I opened the court as much as I wanted. I felt the ball. The most important thing is that I could hold the serve after we broke each other.

Q. When you look at this tournament or the rest of the season, what is 'success' for you? What would be what you want?
SIMONA HALEP: To play Singapore, for sure, is the goal. Then to keep playing like I did today, like I did in U.S., to enjoy. I feel no pressure now. I just want to give everything I have.

I was pretty good with my attitude today, so maybe I can improve this till the end of the year. I feel good. I just want to play.

Q. Were you going for more on your serve today? It seemed on the first serve there was a little bit more power. Maybe I'm wrong.
SIMONA HALEP: 180 ace.

Q. Pretty good.
SIMONA HALEP: It's great for me. You don't see that very often (smiling).

Yeah, I spoke with Darren before. He told me that I have to hit every serve. I did it. Also the return. I think I played strong today.

Q. There's been six retirements so far in the first two days, which happens.
SIMONA HALEP: End of the year.

Q. Is there anything that can be done so when you get to this point you feel good?
SIMONA HALEP: I think it's mentally as well a little bit. You feel it's coming, the end of the year. You feel, like, tired. You exaggerate a little bit more thinking that you are tired. Happened to me last week with my leg.

I don't know how we can do to stay healthy till the end. If I would have known that, I would do something better. But, yeah, we have just to take care of ourselves as much as we can because we have many years ahead - I have actually. I'm getting older tomorrow.

Q. It's your birthday?
SIMONA HALEP: You didn't know (smiling)?

Q. A few years ago when you stormed up the rankings, you were playing a lot of tournaments all the way through to Sofia. As a top player, you play less, more pressure when you do play. Talk about the difference for you.
SIMONA HALEP: To be honest, I like that I play less because I don't like to play all the tournaments. But I'm used to play matches because I played a lot of quallies when I was like 100, 200. I had many matches. I think the matches are helping me a lot to stay in a good shape.

You know, now, yeah, I can say that I feel the pressure when I go to the tournaments because I have to do something to stay there in the top. But I got used to already. I have three years there. I don't want to think any more about results like I did like last three months. It's much better.

I feel great now and I want to keep this feeling, to keep this rhythm, and not thinking about the ranking. I don't care.

Q. Any tournament I see you at, we're used to having the tournaments with Si-mo-na. How different is it when you come here and you don't have that? Do you realize the difference?
SIMONA HALEP: To be honest, I don't. At the beginning was different for me. It was tougher, I can say. I could listen and I could hear everyone screaming my name, saying nice words. I paid a lot of attention on what I heard.

Now I just got used. I don't want to pay attention any more of this. I just go on court and keep focus for what I have to do. It's much better.

Q. You're playing doubles with Ostapenko.

Q. How did that team turn out?
SIMONA HALEP: Actually Monica asked me, Niculescu, to play doubles. I said, Yes, I want. When she won the semis, she said she cannot come anymore, she's tired. I just put my name there, like request, looking list. Medina Garrigues came to me and asked if I wanted to play with Ostapenko, and I said yes.

Q. So Anabel set it up?

Q. Do you know Jelena very much?
SIMONA HALEP: Not really. We say hello, stuff like this, but not much.

I hope we will have fun tomorrow and just to try to improve our game, not playing for the score or result.

Q. Why play doubles if you were concerned about the leg?
SIMONA HALEP: When I came here, as I said, I didn't feel pain. Friday or Thursday night Monica asked me. I said that I want to play. Maybe I play doubles before singles to get used a little bit after injury and after two weeks off.

But the schedule was totally different and I couldn't say anything anymore. But I'm happy that now I have pain-free and I can play doubles, as well.

Q. Do you enjoy playing doubles?
SIMONA HALEP: After Montreal, yeah, I started to like more. But it's not easy for me to play doubles. It's different. For me it's a different sport, different angles, different everything. I don't like to play that much. But my coach says that I have to play to improve, so I have to listen (smiling).

Q. Your next opponent, do you know who you play? Vinci or Shvedova.
SIMONA HALEP: Very different players. Vinci, I played many times against her. I know her. She doesn't hit very strong the balls, but she mix it very well with the slice. She has a good forehand. She's moving well. She has a good touch. So it's different. And I have confidence to play against her because I won a few times.

Against Shvedova, I think I played once in Olympics, London. I didn't see the ball I can say on grass in that time. But I don't want to remember that match. It's going to be a different day. She's very strong. She serves very well. She comes to the net well.

I have just to go there and try to do my game, if I can.

Q. When your birthday lies in the middle of a tournament, would you allow yourself to have a celebration?
SIMONA HALEP: Tonight because I have day off tomorrow.

Yeah, no, I don't. Every year is here, my birthday, so I cannot do much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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