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May 14, 2019

Simona Halep

Rome, Italy

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How have the last few days been for you in terms of energy, getting over the loss, all of that stuff, in preparation for Rome?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I had a great two days, days off. I didn't do much. Just a little bit of fitness. I was walking on the streets in this beautiful city. Nothing much.

Today I practiced. I feel good on court. A little bit of low energy, of course, because I'm coming after a great result and tough matches.

But I'm happy to be back here. I will make sure tomorrow I will be ready to play the match.

Q. How is the cold?
SIMONA HALEP: Much better. I am actually close to 100%. Still a little bit the nose. But it's all good.

Q. Reflecting on Saturday, is it fair to say that's the most frustrated you've been after a loss this year? Where would you rate it and why?
SIMONA HALEP: No, it was the most frustrated match because I felt I didn't play what I had to play. I played bad, in my opinion. But also she played much better after the first set. 4-2, when I was leading, she got very high with the level of play.

But still it was not my best day. I say it without something negative or a bad thing, just was my opinion, and I keep it.

Q. Earlier this year you were saying if there was a title you hadn't won that you really wanted to win, it was here in Rome. Can you talk about what you think you need to do to break through to get that title here.
SIMONA HALEP: To bring the energy back. I need energy. When you have treatment to do, you are cold, you can play good in that week, those days, but then the energy's a little bit lower. So now I feel like that.

Hopefully I can play a good tennis here, to win some matches, then is going to be much easier. Still, it's a very tough tournament, very tough opponents. I cannot think about the title. But my dream is to win it one day. If it's not this year, maybe next year.

Q. After all you've won already, is there still something technical you feel you need to improve, in the technical department? Also, you have a lot of points to defend to keep at the top. How important are these upcoming months and No. 1 in the world?
SIMONA HALEP: Always I have to improve technical because after so many matches your shots or not great any more. You have to train them.

But I think I am on very good level of playing now on clay, so I feel confident. I feel happy with the way I played last week. Here is going to be a little bit different because the court is different.

About the points... I don't want to think about that, to be honest (smiling). I have many, but I covered few of them last week. Is not about defending the points, it's about winning matches and being close to the last days of the tournaments.

About No. 1 in the world, if I will get there, I want to be in the end of the year, not now. So for me doesn't matter in this moment. I just want to win matches.

Q. In many tournaments you have strong support from Romanian fans. Talk a little bit about that. When did it start, at what point in your career?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I think it started around 2014 after my first Grand Slam final. Everyone was coming to support me everywhere. It's a nice energy, also great support from them. It's always nice to have people around you when you play.

I really want to thank them for coming and also for their positive energy they bring every time.

Q. You said you love Rome. What are the things you're going to do when you're off court, the things you are enjoying the most, maybe gelato?
SIMONA HALEP: I was cold, I cannot eat gelato. I exchange with crepes at the hotel. And tiramisu.

I love to stay on the Spanish stairs always when I have a little bit of time. So many people all the time. It's a beautiful place. Gives me energy. That's why I go there when I have the possibility.

Q. When you look at how your game has changed from 2014 until now, some top players got better because their A level increased, some top players got better because their Plan B, C or D got better. For you, what do you think has been the key to how your game has gotten better? Has your A game gotten better or do you have more options, therefore a little bit more safe to be more consistent?
SIMONA HALEP: Very interesting question (smiling).

Q. Have to think about it.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I have to think about the answer.

I think I improved also in my A game, which was defensive game back then. I feel like I improved being more aggressive. This is because of Darren. He teached me how to make the transfer from defensive to the offensive play. Also serve I think I improved.

If I can analyze my game, I think I have Plan A and Plan B. But depends of my energy and my mood if I can put the Plan B, which is more aggressive. I'm trying to improve more and more because now the players know me. After so many years there, I have to come with something better.

I'm working hard every day. Hopefully I can change other things that I want and I have in my mind. I'm not going to tell you because it's a secret (smiling).

Hopefully maybe next year I can be a little bit better than this year. As I said, this year is a chill year. I'm trying just to stay there and to work on those things.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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