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March 25, 2019

Simona Halep

Miami, Florida

S. HALEP/V. Williams

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. It didn't seem like you were particularly looking forward to playing Venus because of how tough she can be. How relieved are you to be through this one?
SIMONA HALEP: (Off microphone.)

Q. How are you feeling physically after this match? Your microphone is not on.
SIMONA HALEP: I'm feeling okay, much better than yesterday. A little bit tired but it's normal. The knee was fine, so it's good that tomorrow I have day off for singles.

Q. You mentioned that Venus was playing with more variety and stuff, and it seems like when I watched her this month she's playing with a lot more variety, different shots. Do you sense this is a different sort of Venus, tactics from her than you have seen in your previous matches against her?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, in previous matches she hit the ball very strong, and also the serve today was a little bit different. At one point she was playing very high and was not easy.

But I just had to adjust myself to the game, and I think I did it pretty well.

Q. How big of a surprise for you is that in a player who has been on tour for 20 years, suddenly playing a very different style all of a sudden?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it's actually something that I have to admire, because her game is just to hit, and she's very strong on that way. And today she started to change some things, so it's inspiring because she's still focused and she really sees the game and she knows how to play against every player.

Q. Including you, I think many tennis players like playing soccer in their practice. I'm curious, how does playing soccer help your tennis game?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I didn't play real soccer. I just play with the ball a little bit. And also, when I was kid, I didn't play professional or with a team. Just with friends.

Q. Just warm up, during the warm up I think you will play some soccer with other players or your coaches. How does that help your game?
SIMONA HALEP: It helps me to warm up, helps me to warm my ankles, my knees. So I think it's a good thing. And when we have the possibility, we always do.

Q. Just a quick question about your serve today. You were serving pretty well, good success, a lot of Love holds. How much of that was do you think how well you were serving versus maybe she didn't have a good returning day? What was your sense?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I think I was pretty strong with my serve, and I knew where to serve to bother her. Actually, since the doubles match here, the first one, I started to feel my serve better and better, day by day.

I'm more confident. And when I saw today that I can win easy games with my serve, gave me a lot of confidence because she's a very good returner. Meant a lot. Now I feel that I have something safe, safer, let's say.

Q. Hsieh Su-Wei has been having a lot of good results here, and she's now into the quarterfinals. How would you describe her kind of tennis? Seems like she takes a very different path to success.
SIMONA HALEP: I don't know how to describe, honestly. She's very talented. I want to say that, because she hides the ball. I played at Wimbledon with her last year and -- two years ago, and was really, really tough, but, you know, she has it in her hands. So I cannot describe her game. It's really interesting.

Q. Is there anybody like her at all?
SIMONA HALEP: No. I don't think so.

Q. How do you think a person learns to play tennis like that?
SIMONA HALEP: I think she feels it. It's not about learning. I think she just feels the ball, and it comes easy to her. If you put someone else to hit like that, I'm not sure that it's possible.

Q. Do you like watching players like her, or do you like watching more sort of "normal tennis"?
SIMONA HALEP: I watch now more tennis, because I like to improve and I like to see different things. I like both ways, to watch. Sometimes it's interesting to see her playing, and sometimes it's nice to see, like you said, "normal style," because it's more usual.

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