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October 26, 2019

Simona Halep

Shenzhen, China

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Obviously the latter half of the season was a bit tough for you. How are you feeling coming into this week?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah, I've been injured after China - actually, during the China tournaments. I was struggling a little bit. But I had a break. I had treatment. Now I'm feeling better. I have a week practicing at the highest level, so I'm happy to be healthy again.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to start here. I have no expectations. I just want to play and to try to play my best.

Q. I saw some photos that Darren is with you here.

Q. What is it like having him back full-time at a tournament?
SIMONA HALEP: It's good to have him back. I'm really happy about that. It's been a year that actually I needed him. But he was kind of close to us all the time.

Now that he's officially back in my team, makes me a little bit confident, more confident. He guides me to the best way that I have to do. I'm really happy about that.

Q. There seems to be a lot of excitement that you will play Bianca for the first time. She mentioned she once came and spoke to you in 2016, asked you some advice. You told her to stop playing juniors. Do you remember that incident at all? What do you make of her year?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I remember when we talked in the car. We did a function in Canada. That's why we met. Yeah, I just told her that she has to stop juniors because she's strong enough to make the step.

About her year, it's amazing what she has done. To win a Grand Slam at 19, play few tournaments and win them, it's a great, great job. I just want to tell her that she deserved because she played really well these tournaments.

Yeah, I'm excited also to face her. It's going to be a big challenge for me because this year was up and down a lot. I just have a very big up during the Wimbledon, and the rest was not that great.

I'm not thinking about winning or losing here. I just want to be able to play the matches.

Q. Besides Andreescu, you have Svitolina and Pliskova in your group. Talk about your group and the challenges.
SIMONA HALEP: Didn't really matter against who I would play because all of them are very strong, are the highest level in tennis in this moment. I cannot say it's a good group or a bad group. It's tough.

I played against them many times. I know them. But every match is a new match. The surface is different. We play indoors, so it's going to be different.

But I'm just happy to be here. I will try my best to win the matches I play. The rest doesn't really matter at the moment. It matters if you can qualify from the group, then we will see.

Q. When you look at the field here with Andreescu, Barty, Osaka, does this feel like a new era for women's tennis?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, definitely. I am the second oldest here, so... It feels weird a little bit.

But, yeah, we have very young players in this tournament. It's amazing that they already won Grand Slam. It's a fantastic job. It's going to be a big challenge for us, the olders.

But, you know, tennis is growing up, tennis is going ahead, so we have to adjust ourselves to everything that's new.

Q. Does it feel like you and Petra, for example, you're a different generation to the others?
SIMONA HALEP: This is tough to answer because I don't feel that I am different generation. I feel that the game is similar, even if they are playing a little bit stronger now. Also Petra is playing strong. Everybody from my age is hitting the ball strong. It's not my style, but I face them already.

I don't believe is different generation. Actually we need new faces and we need young players to come.

Q. I don't know if you already heard, Wilson is using an echo-conscious tennis balls in the Future Stars. Have you hit with them? What are your thoughts on this initiative?
SIMONA HALEP: I think it's a good thing. Actually, tennis is growing, Wilson is growing, and that's why I'm with them. I want to say that they are the best. They know what they do.

For the future, it's good that everyone grows up. For us, and also for the next generation, it's really good. It's healthy, it's good for everybody. Good job to them. I want just to try them again to see how it works.

Q. Did you already try them or not yet?
SIMONA HALEP: No, not yet.

Q. Can you talk look back at the Wimbledon win. I had a feeling maybe that was one you weren't really expecting. What does it mean to you?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, Wimbledon means a lot. I think it's the most special two weeks that I had ever in my life. Of course, Roland Garros, it was special because of the first one, and I really wanted it. I won in juniors, and I feel like home in Paris. But Wimbledon, it's the most prestigious tournament in tennis. I'm really happy I could do this.

I'm always honest, so I didn't expect that. I didn't even dream that I would be able one day to win Wimbledon. But I felt great. I felt day by day that my game is improving, I'm starting to feel the grass which is really important. I didn't do that before.

The final was something out of my mind, like Serena said. I just wanted to be focus on what I have to do, not thinking about the moment. It was huge. Also I had all my friends and my family in the box, the Royal Box also in front of me. It was huge.

But I just thought if I respect the plan that I have to play against her, I will have a better chance to win. It's the highlight of my year, of my career.

I didn't do great after and even before. I take as one of the best years that I had. I'm happy about that. Now I can say that my inside is changed after Wimbledon more than after Roland Garros. Of course, I'm still motivated to win Grand Slams, but now I see different the life and also the tennis.

Q. When you mentioned the sport needs new faces, can you expand on that? Why do you think that is? What do you think this younger generation is bringing to the table?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I think is the cycle of life, to have new faces and also new generations. It's different. Since I started to play tennis until now, things have changed in my opinion. The young players now have more courage, the mind is opened. They have more power than 10 years, the kids.

I feel if they face the big players, they are not that nervous any more as we were. I think it's a big plus for them. That's why we have in top 10 more, like, young players.

I feel like it's going up and up a lot in this way.

Q. When you said Wimbledon changed something in you even more than Roland Garros, you seem like someone who tends to savor the victory, taste it. From a psychological perspective, how useful is it? Some others win and don't think about it, they just keep looking at something else. You seem to be enjoying it.
SIMONA HALEP: I'm enjoying it a lot.

Q. How important is it for you to sustain yourself on the tour?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah, I'm enjoying the moment a lot. I have learned this in the last years. I am the same. I'm looking for the future already. I'm looking for new challenges, new big moments. I just want to feel the victory that I had, to feel the success I had.

The most important thing for me, for my personality, is to see what I achieved, to feel what I achieved, and to be happy about that. It's feeding me with energy and also motivation.

I feel that I'm able to do big things in tennis more and more now because I was able to win two Grand Slams. It's just a way of seeing the things. Everyone is different, but for me it's important to stay cool and to realize what I've done.

I did that, and it helps me to be more and more relaxed, to enjoy more the tennis, the time I spend on court. It helps me a lot.

Q. You beat Serena five years ago in Singapore. You beat her again in Wimbledon. What is the difference between the two matches? What is your biggest changes in past five years?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, are like four years since I played the final in Singapore against her. Many things were changed. My personality has changed. Also the way I'm thinking on court has changed. I'm a different person in this year than 2014.

I have learned many things from the matches I played against her, all the matches that I had on tour. I have more experience. When I enter the court, I said that we are the same for two hours on court. Even if she has 23 Grand Slams, I don't have to think about that because I'm going to get nervous. I just thought that we are two players on court, and the best will win.

I just did what I had planned before the match with my team, and it was enough to be 100% there.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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