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October 23, 2016

Simona Halep

Kallang, Singapore

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Congratulations. First match, first win.
SIMONA HALEP: Thank you.

Q. Pretty convincing one. How did you feel out there and how do you feel right now?
SIMONA HALEP: I felt very well on court today. It was better that I knew her. I played few times this year. I won every time, so I had an advantage.

But still I played a good tennis. I think I played exactly what I had to play against her. I was focused, everything went as I wanted, so I'm happy with the way that I played.

Now I'm happy that I could win first match.

Q. In the second set there were a few opportunities to break early. Looked like you were starting to get a little bit frustrated because she was starting to play a little bit better. Darren came down and talked to you. How important was that? You immediately broke back. Happy that you stayed positive today?
SIMONA HALEP: First game of the second set I had two break points and I missed that forehand very easy. Yeah, I was a little bit pissed. I called Darren at 2-1. He told me to calm down, so everything that I did.

Then I just stayed more focused. I felt that she's coming back, she's playing better and better, so I had to stay for every point there. With Madison it's always important to play every point and win every point.

Q. There were a few times today where she drug you out wide and moved you left and right and ended up hitting the winner. Was there any time you panicked?
SIMONA HALEP: If I panicked?

Q. Yeah.
SIMONA HALEP: At the beginning of the second set I panicked a little bit because I missed some easy shots. In the rest of the set, no, because I know she can play amazing some shots and miss also easy shots because it's her game like that. She goes for everything.

I stayed there. I think I did a good job. I was positive until the end. My serve helped me today a lot, even if I didn't hit it very strong.

Q. Well played.
SIMONA HALEP: Thank you.

Q. What's the pace of the court?

Q. The speed, yeah.
SIMONA HALEP: It's slower than America, so I played in -- I played in Montréal against her and there was faster, the game. I felt really a lot her power.

So here was less. I could manueverate the game as I wanted. The ball is staying low here, so I think fits me. It's good that I can be strong on my legs.

Q. You talked about Darren before. What is it that works best about your relationship? What does he bring?
SIMONA HALEP: He knows how to talk to me when I need, so he just calms me down and it's perfect.

Q. Going back to the speed of the court, is there much of a difference between what it's like when it's empty and practicing in the day and tonight when it's a full crowd?
SIMONA HALEP: It's a bit warmer.

Q. Doesn't effect the --
SIMONA HALEP: No, it's the same.

Q. Seems like there were many supporters from Romania.
SIMONA HALEP: Every time.

Q. How does it feel to be basically home?
SIMONA HALEP: It's nice. It's always nice. The atmosphere is like I'm home every time I play, so it's really nice. I saw many flags in the crowd, so makes it special.

I want to thank them for coming. It's amazing. They come all the way to here.

Q. Obviously you want to win every match you play. But how important and what affect does winning a first match in a round robin tournament have on the rest of the group play? Do you feel less pressure? What is it about winning the first match can that can affect the rest of the tournament?
SIMONA HALEP: It's not about the pressure. I think it's about the confidence. Gives you confidence. If you win you are more positive. When you go to the second one you say that you feel the game. You feel the court. You feel great here.

So I can play my best tennis and you give everything without thinking of the score. In my opinion.

Q. You were very consistent out there today. Is it because you've played her before and you have a leading record over her, or do you feel on the whole it's...
SIMONA HALEP: I think both. First thing is that I have confidence against her. This year I played four times already, so it's a lot.

And the second thing is that I feel good. I feel the court. As I said before, the court fits me. I fit the court.

Yeah, I feel good. I feel every shot. I feel how to move. I feel strong on my legs and I can stop at every ball.

Q. Today you hit many hot shots, but one of them was a deciding moment in the second set. The passing backhand.
SIMONA HALEP: It was nice. And the dropshot.

Q. And the dropshot as well. Yeah, you're right. What comes in your mind? You get very pumped up, but probably you need to think about the next point sometimes.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, actually today first one was the dropshot. I said, That was amazing. I didn't think anything else. Just that shot.

Then the backhand I said, Oh, I feel it. It was good for me for the next game because I got confidence that it works. Backhand is my best shot, so has to work.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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