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January 24, 2018

Simona Halep

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

S. HALEP/K. Pliskova

6-3, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. That was a little bit of a turnaround for you.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah, I think was a great match. The best this tournament. I started slow a little bit. Then I got used to the rhythm. I got used to everything. I played very well.

Q. What was it about her start that threw you off?
SIMONA HALEP: A little bit of emotions maybe. The leg a little bit. I was not sure how is going to be, how I will run. I knew I have to run and to move quick against her. She's hitting hard, so I had to stay close to the baseline, and also strong.

But after that, I started to feel the rhythm and I was a little bit more aggressive.

Q. Karolina was in here talking about how her game matches up with you, how her weapons don't seem to trouble you. You always seem to read her game and use her pace. Is that how you feel when you play her, that it's a good matchup?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I can say I can read her game a little bit better. But still every match is difficult. You never know with her because she has crazy good shots sometimes and also the serve.

But, yeah, like I said, I read her serve many times today. I just was very strong on the return. I think that's why I could start to dominate the game. She was a little bit upset because she couldn't take the serve.

Q. What were you thinking at 3-Love, breakpoint?
SIMONA HALEP: Nothing, nothing. Nothing goes in my mind. Just was hoping to start to feel the rhythm. Then after I took the first game, I said that I can come back.

Q. What is it like to be in a run like that, to win the next eight games? Must feel pretty good.
SIMONA HALEP: It was a nice feeling (smiling).

Also, yeah, gave me confidence that I can finish the match in that way. But still when you win so many games in a row, it's a bit of danger there. I had to stay very focused. I knew that at 4-1, even if I lost that game, I have to take the next one, which I did. Was great.

Q. You practiced together before the tournament. She said even when she practices against you, she can feel that you seem to just like her game, that you know how to combat it. Do you feel that way when you're playing her? Here is a big-hitter hitting big, but I like the feel of her ball?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, we played so many times. I feel, yeah, good when I play against her. But like I said, is never easy. Even if I won so many times, you never know what to expect with her.

I just have the plan in my head. I know most of the time where she's hitting. That's why maybe I can win against her. I just feel good when I play against her (smiling).

Q. You're going to have to run a lot in your next match.
SIMONA HALEP: You think (smiling)?

Q. Your thoughts on that matchup, how you want to prepare.
SIMONA HALEP: For sure is going to be a second marathon this tournament. But I'm used to that. I know her pretty well. I know she's very strong opponent, very strong player. She likes here.

But I started to like this tournament. After two years in a row losing in the first round, now it's a better result. I just want to go there and to give everything I have like I did the last matches.

I'm not thinking about the result. It's really tough to think about that because of all the things that I had. Now I'm just trying to play everything I have and to play the best to win it.

Q. We all remember the match with Davis, so far the match of the tournament. Are you drawing on that as a turning point, as an inspiration?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, after that match I said that it was a huge win for me. Also for this tournament, also in general, because I could resist those tough moments during the match. Also I could see that my ankle is okay, to run and to play so long. I got a lot of confidence.

Also I got a little bit of, you know, courage to go forward, it doesn't matter the score. I think that match was really important for me. Also is the beginning of the year, and I have so many months ahead. I'm ready and I feel stronger now mentally.

Q. One less day to get ready and make sure your ankle is right for tomorrow. What does the next 18 hours look like?
SIMONA HALEP: Chilling, doing nothing. I will be in my room watching tennis. I will watch Roger again. A little bit of treatment. I had already. I will have again. So boring.

Tomorrow, it's a nice match and will be a nice day.

Q. You've been in Australia a little longer than the last two years. Do you feel your Australian is coming on better? You can deal with more phrases from Darren?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I can say I feel good here. Also I had good memories before. Before those two years that I lost first round, I had two times quarterfinals.

I like the conditions. I like the people. They are very relaxed. They inspire me just being cool. If something is wrong, we will have a beer, like Darren says, in the evening, then tomorrow is a new day.

I take it, and I started to actually feel it and to understand it more.

Q. Must be quite time consuming to be looking after your ankle for the whole tournament. What does being injured do to your mentality? Do you think less about the matches, feel more calm?
SIMONA HALEP: Maybe I stop thinking about the result and about the matches. I was just worried about how is going to be the next day, the ankle. But was pretty strong. It is pretty strong. After this I will take care better of it.

Q. Your thoughts on Wozniacki against Mertens, who is your favorite?
SIMONA HALEP: My favorite? I don't have favorite. Who is better player will win.

Mertens is playing well. I saw her a little bit yesterday. Wozniacki is playing also well. So it's going to be an interesting match.

I don't know what to say, but we will see tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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