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August 9, 2017

Simona Halep

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

S. HALEP/M. Rybarikova

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk about the impact that Darren Cahill has had on your game and that's helped you in the time that you've been working with him so far?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, he has helped me a lot, also tactical and also mentally. He showed me what I have to do to get stronger, and he told me where I have to improve.

So it's been, like, two years already, really good two years. And hopefully I can make him prouder winning a Grand Slam. But, yeah, we will see if it's going to happen.

Q. Just talking about the match tonight, it seemed like there were moments where you were a bit frustrated. How did you work it out and in straight sets?
SIMONA HALEP: I think the whole match was a little bit with the feeling of frustration because she was breaking the rhythm a lot. It's her style and is not easy to play against her. She's a very tough opponent.

So, yeah, I just tried to stay focused. I missed a few easy balls in the second set. I got a little bit upset. But I stayed, in my opinion, very positive and I was still fighting for every ball.

I think it was a good level of tennis and also good win for me for the first match here was a tough one.

Q. Following up on that, she's had so many match wins in the past few months. Does that play on your mind knowing that someone can be that dangerous on the other side of the net?
SIMONA HALEP: Of course I knew that she's going to be very dangerous because she has a lot of confidence, but I'm in the same position. I play many matches and I won good matches, so my confidence is high. So we were both, I think, at the same level of the confidence.

I think the difference was a little bit the game today. I was more consistent, in my opinion, and I could finish the point in my way.

Q. Tonight was probably the loudest the crowd has been so far at the tournament, especially in that second set. How big a factor was that for you to have the crowd in your corner?
SIMONA HALEP: Always when I play in Canada I have a big crowd, and I really want to thank everyone for coming. It's a pleasure always to play here and gives me more energy, I think I can say. And also, like, I'm fired up all the time when I play.

And I did want to win every match that I play here. So maybe that's why I did some great results in the last two years. Hopefully this last year I can just repeat or go forward in the tournament.

Q. Talking about the Canadian crowd, you have points to defend here being the defending champion. Does it make it that must easier to have the crowd behind you, or do you kind of put that away and not think about the points and just play free and focused?
SIMONA HALEP: I'm not thinking the points at all, and I don't feel a negative pressure. I just have in my mind that I like to play always here in Canada. I have big support. I enjoy the time. Was a great day, great night session out there, and I think I played very good tennis.

So I just take the positives of everything and not thinking about the defending title. I just want to be happy that I was able to win once and to be confident that there is a chance.

Q. You didn't have to do it tonight but just what are some reasons in a match where you might want to call on Darren to come down for a consult and does it help you during matches?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I wanted to call him in the second set. But I said that it's better not, just to fight alone, because in the Grand Slams we don't have this possibility.

So just we decided together not to use him that much, because the real important moments are in the Grand Slam and there I'm alone. So I'm just trying to work that alone and do the things by myself.

We talked before the match, everything I have to do, so it's all good.

Q. Strycova next, another tricky opponent. What are your thoughts on that one?
SIMONA HALEP: It's going to be maybe the same. She's running very well, and it's going to be tough again by the rhythm.

So it's not going to be, like, easy rhythm match, but I will try just to be aggressive, more aggressive, and to take -- to open the court and to do my style, to play my style. If I play my style, I think I have a good chance to win.

Q. So you are the defending champion but you won your title last year in Montreal. You're defending this title in a totally different city and stadium. So what's it like to be the defending champion but not in the same place?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I don't know. It's first time when I'm in this position. So that's why I said I'm not thinking, because nothing is the same. It's different club, different city.

So it's just another tournament, a really important tournament for me, and I'm just trying to take match by match and just to keep in my mind the good memories from two years ago where I played the final.

So, yeah, it's going to be an interesting week, and I really want to fight to win the next round.

Q. Is there any special post-match ritual here in Toronto that you will try to do tonight before your next match?
SIMONA HALEP: No. Just the treatment and sleep, and tomorrow again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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