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August 28, 2017

Simona Halep

New York, NY, USA


6-4, 4-6, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Initial thoughts and reaction after that tough battle?
SIMONA HALEP: What can I say? Much I cannot say.

But I'm sad, of course, losing this match. But I think I give everything I had. She was better. She was serving better. My serve was very bad today.

Q. Did this feel much like an opening-round match in term was of the atmosphere on court and the level of play?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, in my opinion was very tough. Was not like first-round match. But this is the draw. I cannot say anything else, just that's it. It's the luck.

It was a tough one for first round, for sure. But still I think I played okay. She played really well. It was a good match. It was good for the fans.

Q. How do you think you were able to turn around the second set from 1-4 down?
SIMONA HALEP: I just stayed there. I didn't think that I lost the match. I just kept fighting, playing. I feel that I started to play a little bit more relaxed after that score. Then I got the confidence back. Actually, I didn't lose the confidence during the match because I felt that I was very close, also in the first set.

So it was really well, in my opinion. I mean, I cannot judge myself for not doing something, just the serve, because was a bad serve today.

Q. What was particularly bothering you on the serve?
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't have the timing, the feeling. I don't know why. Maybe because was night. It's always different. I didn't practice night. But these are excuses.

I just had to try something else, but I didn't. So was my bad there.

Q. What did you feel or sense when Maria at the end of the match, her eyes got moist, she began to cry, fell to the court? What were your thoughts about that? What does that say about Maria Sharapova?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I didn't see that moment because I was pretty sad that I lost the match. What can I say? I think it's a big victory for her. She was staying away so many months. She's coming now. In my opinion, she played really well.

So maybe that's why. She feels she got the game back and she's happy.

Q. Do you think her return will have impact on the tour?
SIMONA HALEP: I cannot comment much because I don't know very well her, like, personality. She might come back very strong. She might not. I don't know. She faced some injuries in the past. So we will see. I cannot say much.

Q. On paper, your serve was not that bad, but it seems you were serving a lot into her body. Was that part of your game plan?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I wanted to go more on the backhand, but didn't go. The percentage maybe was good, but was too slow. She could attack the return very easy. So that's why I think I lost so many serve games. That's maybe why I lose the match. I'm pretty sure about that.

Q. You obviously had the momentum at the end of the second set. Before the third, she left the court.
SIMONA HALEP: Like always.

Q. Did that throw you off at all?
SIMONA HALEP: I'm used. When I play against her, she does that all the time. So I didn't think about that. It's her style and I don't comment.

Q. Obviously you played her six times before. With her not having played much at all this year, was there still a lot of unknown about what this match would be like? Also, it being your first match of the tournament, no other matches on that court this year, a lot of mystery before that match.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I knew how she's playing. I expected her to hit everything because physically I think if we stay in the big rallies, I'm a little bit stronger because I play every day. She was out for a few months. That's the reason.

But she was very strong today. She hit everything. Some balls were really well, really good, and I couldn't even touch them.

For first round, was tough one, for sure. When you get to the tournament with some matches before, it's much easier. You feel the rhythm, you feel everything. But today was a little bit tougher.

Q. Based off the matches you had played against her before, did she do anything differently today that you saw? Were the angles maybe a little bit better?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I felt that she played the same. She always plays the same against me.

Q. You've had good results this summer. Does it still feel a bit like a cruel summer having these tough moments like today?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, of course, is tough moment. I cannot be happy with something like that. I'm sad, of course.

But that's tennis. I cannot say anything. I gave everything I had. Today she was stronger. I have just to go and work harder, to improve in my serve more. I didn't talk much with Darren, but he will tell me what I have to improve more. But definitely I have to work harder.

Q. Three tough finals this year. So close to be No. 1.
SIMONA HALEP: I'm gone now. I'm out of the list.

Q. Did it ever cross your mind, What's going on here? Some kind of test?
SIMONA HALEP: You mean luck and unluck, if I'm lucky or unlucky? No. I'm not thinking. I feel I'm very lucky person that I have this life, the chance to play in the top for so many years.

I played final. Of course, I was sad, but was not the luck. I think I didn't play good enough to win that match. In the rest, I gave up maybe in some matches. Not giving up, but I didn't believe much that I can win. That's why I lost.

So I'm not thinking that I'm unlucky person. I'm very lucky.

Q. How will you spend the next couple of days?
SIMONA HALEP: What do you think (smiling). Racquets away, holiday, then work again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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