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August 17, 2018

Simona Halep

Cincinnati, Ohio

S. HALEP/L. Tsurenko

6-4, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Very busy day for you. Walk us through some of your emotions. Seems to have been a little bit up and down for you today.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah. It was a tough day, definitely. But for everybody almost, because we had to play two matches because of the rain.

It was a tough day (smiling). I'm really tired. But I'm happy that I could win both of them. And the second one I think it was much better from 1-4, and, yeah, I feel confident now. I started to feel the game.

Q. Before the tournament you said you were tired but you were confident. Was there ever a doubt about playing this tournament after you won Montreal?
SIMONA HALEP: No. No, I said, actually, after I won Montreal, I said that I want to come here to win some more matches, because after winning a title is always the feeling that let's do more. So I had that, and it's never good to, you know, to cut it. So I left it, and I played okay.

Q. (Question about Wednesday night starts.)
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I hope next one will not be the same.

Q. How did it feel when you actually realized that, okay, once again, two matches in a day?
SIMONA HALEP: This tournament, I have been asked when I want to play, and I said Wednesday last match, because I was tired a little bit, and I had the chance to play, because I had bye, so I had chance to play the last day and I chose it.

Not good, eh? But it's okay. I won a tournament and now I'm semis, so it works.

Q. How do you feel about your tennis? Is this the best you have ever felt on court, just being confident and ready?
SIMONA HALEP: The best attitude and the best feeling, for sure. I don't know if the best level of tennis. I feel like on clay I played a little bit better, but it's different.

So I try just to keep it, to stop missing, because today at the beginning of the match I missed a lot. So I'm just trying to find my best level, and hopefully New York it will be close.

Q. Statistically you're the best returner on tour right now. You break almost half the time. Every two games you break once. So at least in instances where you're down in the scoreline and you're broken early, like with Ash and today with Tsurenko, do you feel like, No problem, I can break back whenever I want? I have to just refocus? How confident are you in your return game?
SIMONA HALEP: Very confident. Okay, I don't say that and doesn't matter I will break now. But I feel confident and I feel secure there.

So also now I improved in serve, so I don't feel a big difference between those two. But I'm pretty confident when I return, and I feel like if I stay there, focused and concentrated on every point, I can win games.

Q. Next up is Sabalenka. She's been beating a lot of people the last few weeks. What do you know about her and what do you expect?
SIMONA HALEP: We played this year at the beginning of the year, first tournament. I know it's going to be different because she has a lot of confidence now and she has beaten so many good players, so she's confident.

But I am confident in the same time. It's going to be big challenge for me after so many matches. Tomorrow it's gonna be a tough one, but I'm here just to play it and I hope to win.

Q. Being No. 1 and winning so matches, you get to give so many press conferences around the world now. I'm curious what your favorite press conference room is.
SIMONA HALEP: All are the same for me (smiling).

Q. No difference?
SIMONA HALEP: No. Same people, so I like that. Doesn't matter the room.

Q. So it's good that it's the same people?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, is good. I feel more relaxed.

Q. When you are very confident, how does it change your play?
SIMONA HALEP: Yesterday, you mean?

Q. No, just in general.
SIMONA HALEP: I played like five minutes. I was, like...

Q. When you are confident you can be more, you know, offensive? Or how does it affect your play?
SIMONA HALEP: I think all the ways. Also offensive, also defensive. I started to feel the rhythm pretty well between these two.

I think the attitude is pretty good. I'm not giving up. I'm fighting for every ball. I'm running for every ball. So it keeps me very focused. Keeps me very concentrated.

And when I feel like that, I feel like -- actually, I refuse to lose. Gives me a lot of power to go ahead.

Q. The guide for the tournament, they have printed this magazine and it has different nicknames for players. It apparently came from the player itself. Yours, it says "Money," as in cash.

Q. I don't know. That's why I was asking. Do you have a nickname that sounds like that?
SIMONA HALEP: Oh, Mony. Now I got it. It's M-o-n-y.

Q. We can't call you Money?

Q. You're not going to give us money?
SIMONA HALEP: Give you money? I will, but if you give me a reason, I will.

Q. We are nice and make you feel relaxed. You just said it.

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