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September 28, 2019

Simona Halep

Beijing, China

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How is your back and are you able to compete at 100%?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, the back is better. Getting treatment every day. I had two days off. Today I practiced.

In my opinion, I can play tomorrow, so I will do my best. You never know with the back. I had a problem in 2008. It's normal to have some tough periods.

But tomorrow I will play.

Q. I notice you entered the US Open mixed doubles draw, but eventually pulled out. Next year there will be the Olympics. You've said that your goal is to win one medal. Are you going to play more mixed doubles next year?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, definitely I will play more. But Olympics is before US Open, so I have only Melbourne, maybe French Open, and grass. Grass is a little bit dangerous because the surface is tough and you can get hurt a little bit with the men's serve.

But the goal is to play all the time mixed doubles with my partner to get used to the game, to be able to make a good result in Olympics.

Q. I noticed in an interview with the Wimbledon Channel after your win, you said you felt you could win on grass back in April. Have you ever had any conversations between the finals that you're going to win Wimbledon?
SIMONA HALEP: I always be honest. It's true when I said before the final I thought 100% that I have a chance to win Wimbledon. Before that it was very difficult because, as I mentioned, we don't have grass courts in Romania. I never practiced as a kid on grass courts. I needed time. I needed years to get used to the surface.

This year I felt great. I felt like I can touch my highest level in tennis. It happened. But that day doesn't happen very often.

Yeah, I was also relaxed. I didn't have big expectations from myself winning that tournament. So everything came very relaxed. Also day by day I started to feel the game better. Helped me to stay focused.

Before that tournament, no, I didn't speak with someone that I win Wimbledon. It was just day by day.

Q. Does the China Open have special meaning for you with regard to your birthday? What is your impression coming back this year?
SIMONA HALEP: Every year it's nice to come back here. The tournament is a big tournament, important for everybody. Atmosphere is very nice. You can see everyone is focused on their job.

This year I celebrated my birthday very special at the Great Wall. It was actually first time for me when I went to visit the Great Wall after coming here many years in a row.

It is a good week for me. Even if I was a little bit injured, I feel good. I feel good to play and to win matches.

Q. You've twice finished the year at No. 1. You were No. 1 here the last two times you were here.
SIMONA HALEP: Close I think, yeah.

Q. Being No. 1, is it kind of good and bad? It's great to be No. 1, have that title. On the other hand, it brings extra pressure that you maybe would rather not have.
SIMONA HALEP: I never felt pressure when I've been No. 1. I know my coach told me that many players are struggling when they are No. 1. They feel the pressure more. I never had that. I enjoyed it. Also I embraced it. It was really good for me to be No. 1. I didn't feel that negative pressure.

Now in this moment, for me it's not the most important thing to be No. 1 in the world. As I said after finishing two years in a row No. 1, my goal is to win Grand Slams and also tournaments, of course. To win titles is better to say.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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