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February 14, 2019

Simona Halep

Doha, Qatar

S. HALEP/J. Goerges

7-6, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What was the mindset for you in the last set, especially it seemed like she got off to a 5-2 lead? Were you starting to think about a third set, or how determined were you to try to get it done in two?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I didn't think about a third set. I just wanted to fight till the end of the second set.

So I didn't give up, and I didn't lose my confidence, even if I was set points down. I tried just to stay there, focused, to stay strong on my legs, because she's hitting the ball really strong and it's never easy to return.

I'm really proud that I could stay strong mentally and also that I was fighting for every single shot.

Q. What does a match like this that was so close do for your confidence going forward?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah, I feel confident now, and I feel much better. Because when you see that your level is very high, she played amazing, so gives me more confidence and gives me, you know, good vibe about my tennis level.

I feel good on court. I could run a lot. I'm happy with everything.

Q. How relieved are you that you didn't have to play a third set? How much does that help you prepare for tomorrow?
SIMONA HALEP: It's a good thing that I didn't play three sets, because I'm already a little bit tired. Coming from Fed Cup is never easy, but I did well. And tomorrow, it's a big challenge, so I'll be ready for it.

Q. In your on-court interview, you said you didn't know it was Svitolina in the semifinals. Is it normal course that before you go to play you don't see as to what has happened in the previous matches or it's just a one-off case?
SIMONA HALEP: No, it just happened. Normally I know against who I have to play, but here I didn't look. I didn't focus on my opponents, next opponents. I just wanted to win against Goerges, because I know it's going to be a very tough one, so I didn't think about the future.

Q. You seem to be quite excited to be in Doha. You said you didn't want to leave. Back to back, when you play a match like this tonight and then you have tomorrow, what is your mental preparation? Or you just go, like, a normal course?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I love to play in Doha. Always I played great tennis. And I'm again in the semifinals, which means a lot.

I'm a little bit tired, as I said, but I have enough time until tomorrow. I will have food now after the press, and then I will have a massage and then a good sleep.

I have the morning off. I don't play in the morning, so it's a good thing, and I have enough time to get ready for the next one.

Q. Could you just talk about the atmosphere out there? The crowd was really much for you, as it tends to be in your matches. But just talk about the atmosphere, particularly tonight.
SIMONA HALEP: Well, it's been a nice atmosphere and the people were very excited there on court. I want to thank them for coming, the Romanians, and also to Doha because every time I come here, I have a warm welcome.

So it's great to feel those feelings on court, and that's why maybe I didn't want to leave and to go back on center court tomorrow.

Q. How much of it is it nice after coming from Fed Cup in Ostrava where maybe the majority of the crowd was for Karolina or for the Czechs to come here and have such overwhelming support again?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I want to say that the crowd in Czech, the Czechs were very fair play, and the atmosphere was great for both teams.

We didn't have problems, and we enjoyed a lot. Also, our Romanians were very loud, and I can say also that I heard only the Romanian fans (smiling). So I enjoyed the atmosphere.

And here, I felt like I'm there because I had many Romanians and they were screaming very hard tonight. So every time I play, I have a big support, and I want to thank to the fans and to the people, because they are so close to me and they support me every time.

Q. With Elina next, she's never been an easy opponent. Your thoughts going into that match?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah, it's been tough against her. We played two finals in Rome, and I lost them. I was very upset after those matches, because I gave up and I didn't play my best tennis.

Now I have the chance to change that. I have the chance to fight till the end and for every ball. Tomorrow I believe in my chance. I believe that I have a good level of tennis in this moment, and I have to believe that I can win. So I will go there tomorrow, and I will give everything.

Q. Will you spend tomorrow resting ahead of the match, or will you try to go out and do something if you can?
SIMONA HALEP: No, I will go to train about four hours before the match (smiling).

Of course I'll rest, and then I will go just on court to play my match (smiling).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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