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January 9, 2019

Simona Halep

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

A. BARTY/S. Halep

6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Is that a blow to the confidence at all before Melbourne, or is it just one of those days?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I think it was a great match after almost four months since I played one full match, US Open. I think I played a good level of tennis. I had no inspiration in some important points.

She played really well. Her slice was great today, so, yeah, she deserved to win this match, but also I was very close to win. I had so many chances to break her and to take advantage, but I couldn't. The break, it comes like up and I can feel that I don't have the rhythm yet.

Q. Did it feel like she stepped up her game since the last time you played her?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, she played good tennis today. She always played well against me and all the matches were very tough.

Today she was a little bit better than me because she had maybe 10 matches more than me in this year, so she was better prepared than me.

Q. You said you wanted to see how your match play went with your back. How was it?
SIMONA HALEP: No pain at all. I'm happy about that. It's a great sign. I will recover now, and I will see how I wake up tomorrow morning, because it's important.

Q. In hindsight, do you feel like you've got enough match play before Melbourne?
SIMONA HALEP: Not really, but I took the risk. I took a longer break because I needed it. Also mentally, also physically. So I have no expectations. That's why I always say because I cannot expect myself to be at the highest level in this moment, because I didn't play matches, but tennis is good, so I have just to believe in myself more.

Q. Do you think being fresh might prepare you well for the Open?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, it's tough to say without matches, without great preparation to go far in Melbourne, because the heat is not easy to support and to feel it.

So I will go there. I will try to play better than today and we will see.

Q. What was it like out there not having a coach with you?
SIMONA HALEP: Weird and tough (smiling). You know, it's a new beginning, let's say, and I will give myself a chance, a few months, just to chill on court.

Q. There were swirly conditions out there.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, conditions were tough. The wind was really bad. I couldn't feel the ball always, but it was for both of us. So it was tough for us, yeah, both of us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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