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September 29, 2016

Simona Halep

Wuhan, Hubei, China

S. HALEP/M. Keys

6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You are into the quarterfinals and you're qualified for Singapore. Because of the weather the matches were rescheduled. What do you think of the weather of Wuhan? Does that affect your performance? Do you have any experience to cope with the bad weather?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it was a little bit difficult because I had one more match before me scheduled today before I was playing. But it happens. It's normal because they had to play one more round, so it was fine for me.

Yeah, I'm used to the bad weather. I had many experiences this year about the weather, so it's all good. It's nice that we have a roof here, so was no problem to play.

Q. You were 3-1 down in the first set, then little by little you took control of the match. How did you manage to do that?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, the beginning of the match she was hitting very strong and I didn't have the rhythm of the match, so I needed few games to come back, to feel a little bit the game. She's hitting very strong and it's tough to get used to that from the first ball.

I think I served bad in the first game, too much on her forehand. She made some winners. But I came back. I was not worried that it's 3-1 down. I just wanted to play ball by ball, point by point. That's why I won today.

Q. Your thoughts on making it to Singapore for a third straight year?
SIMONA HALEP: It's amazing to be qualified again for Singapore three years in a row. It's a good thing. It gives me confidence. It gives me, I can say, happiness a little bit now. It's going to be a good experience again. I hope that I can do better than last year.

Q. With the roof closed, is it different out there?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it's different, and it's faster a little bit. I think was a little bit better for her, but still I play very well indoor. I can block all the balls with good power. So I feel that I played very good tennis today.

Q. When you have those wins that you've had against her recently - Montreal and here - how much does that impact when your game is not there in the start that you didn't panic?
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't panic today. I knew that I have to stay there even if she's leading because with her game you never know what is happening so you have to be focused for every ball. She can hit very strong. She can miss some easy balls. So you have just to stay there.

I stayed there, and I knew from the previous matches that it's going to be tough till the last point. I had just to stay there.

Q. Talk about the one crazy point with the cross-court.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, that was nice, no? When she missed it...

Yeah, I was running a lot that point. Both of us, actually. It was pretty nice shot. Also she did one good shot before, then mine was even shorter, so I think was nice.

Q. Will you put that on your highlight reel at the end of the year?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah (smiling).

Q. How do you compare how you feel now compared to two years ago when you made Singapore for the first time?
SIMONA HALEP: It's different. That time I was very excited because was first time. I had no idea how it's going to be there. So, yeah, completely different. Now I'm used to play there. I know how it is. I know the conditions, the courts, everything.

But still it's the same feeling that I'm happy going there. So for me, even if it's the third year, it's like thanks God for doing that for me, that one. I'm proud that I could do that three years in a row.

Q. Are you surprised that you're the third player to qualify, behind Serena and Angie?
SIMONA HALEP: I cannot say that I'm surprised. After May in Madrid, I played very well. I lost a few matches against Serena and Kerber in the last three, four months. So, yeah, I feel good. I feel that I deserve to be there. Of course, I didn't win a Grand Slam yet, but still I played very well in the big tournaments.

Yeah, I feel okay. I knew that I had the chance to be third, to be qualified there in Singapore. But doesn't mean the ranking too much. You have to play there because everyone from top eight is playing crazy tennis, so I have to be ready.

Q. Earlier you spoke about not having enough belief to be No. 1 as yet, winning Grand Slams. Can you talk a little bit about if Angie has changed that for players without as big of weapons as maybe Serena or Petra or someone like that? Has Angie's wins and No. 1 ranking changed that for players like you?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I can say that Angie is different than Serena and Kvitova. I don't have those strong shots. But she has something else. She has the ambitions. She has the power to stay there till the end. She has the fight. She's fighting till the end all the time, and for every ball. They are different players. She deserves to be there.

About me, I feel the same. I don't feel big shots, but I have speed on the court. I move well. Tactic I play a little bit smarter. I like to take the ball fast. So when I do that, I think I can play at the highest level.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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