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October 23, 2017

Simona Halep

Kallang, Singapore

S. HALEP/C. Garcia

6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It's your first win as a world No. 1. How do you feel about it?
SIMONA HALEP: I feel happy. I feel great that first tournament where I'm coming like No. 1, I won the first match, so it's nice and I did enjoy the time on court.

Q. Same opponent two weeks apart. What made the difference for you tonight?
SIMONA HALEP: Definitely she's very difficult to play against, and I knew how is gonna be the match, because we played two weeks ago.

But also I had in my mind the match from Toronto when I won against her, and today I think I played similar to that match. I just felt that the beginning she's very consistent and very strong, but then in the second set already I started to feel that I dominate the match and I got more confidence.

Q. Can you tell me how important footwork is to your game and how much practice you do on it in the offseason?
SIMONA HALEP: How important is?

Q. Footwork, your footwork, and your speed.
SIMONA HALEP: My footwork? It's really important, and today I be really strong on the legs. I stayed very low because she's hitting pretty flat, and the ball here on this court doesn't jump too much. So I had to stay low. And also, I was running very well.

So, yeah, I'm working, let's say, more on this when I'm home, but I don't exaggerate. I just have it, and most important is to be fresh before the tournament.

Q. When Darren came down, he kind of said, or you told him, I need to play by instinct, I think is what you said.

Q. So can you talk through, like, did you feel like the first few games you were overthinking too much of what you had to do? And after that, do you feel you were able to switch and just play?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I felt too much that I have to hit one particular shot, and I was not that confident to hit that one. I just wanted to relax myself, not thinking too much what I have to play, just by instinct, because I do well when I do that.

And then I just relax my mind and just played where I felt in that second and was much better.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the second game that went five deuces? Was that the big game of the match, or was it the ninth game of the first set?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, after I won it, I didn't think about it anymore during the match, but, yeah, it was really important, if I'm thinking now, because if she could do the break fast, it was a little bit more difficult to come back, but I kept it and I think today I served really, really well.

Q. Before the tournament, there were some players with the chance of finishing No. 1. Players normally like to say I don't focus on the ranking, I just focus on each match. But do you at all look at the permutations and scenarios to know what you have to do here to finish No. 1?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I never do that. I did in the summer and was not good, so I just stopped it (smiling).

Now I'm not thinking about finishing No. 1. I attach that place, and I just want to play match by match to win the matches that I'm playing here. It's more important than to finish No. 1 now.

Of course it's a nice thing that if I can be No. 1 at the end of the year, but is not the most important thing in this moment for me.

Q. It's been quite a year for you and Darren, and you have had ups and downs. How do you feel that your relationship with him has changed, moved on, got better?
SIMONA HALEP: I think it's a good relation. Of course we had some tough moments at the beginning of the year, but also, I was a little bit frustrated with my injury. I was really negative with myself.

But then I changed. I'm still working on that, and I think I made big steps forward to this way, and I think he's very happy with my way on court and we understand each other very well.

Q. Given all that you've gone through this year and achieved this year, do you feel now mentally you're at a place where you've never been before in a more...
SIMONA HALEP: For sure. Yeah, I'm in a place that I have never been. Also with the happiness. Also with my inside feelings about everything happen this year. I think was my best year so far, and after I had so many difficult moments, I was able to come back stronger.

So, yeah, it's really nice, and for sure I will never forget.

Q. You visited the National Design Center yesterday. Did you find anything interesting or inspiring? Among the eight players here, who do you think is the most fashionable player?
SIMONA HALEP: I think I said Serena [sic] a few days ago, that she's really -- I think that she's mixing very well the clothes. When is elegant is elegant, and sometimes when she goes to some events, I saw her in pictures, with also casual shoes that she's wearing, and nice dresses, so I like her style.

Yeah, it was nice there, and I start to learn more how I have to dress (smiling) because I need to learn more.

Q. Speaking of fashion, actually, at the player party you had "Equality" written on the bottom of your dress. Wondering if there was any significant or meaning behind it.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I just bought it in the shop. I saw it, and I didn't look after something like that, but I like the word, and I got it few months ago in Italy. I kept it for this event.

Q. One of the fans wanted to know, if you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
SIMONA HALEP: Pizza, for sure. Mozzarella.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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