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October 30, 2019

Simona Halep

Shenzhen, China


7-5, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. On the court we heard you tell Darren that she's not bothered by your shots. Was that the frustrating part? Especially on this court she's able to get to a lot of balls.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, exactly. I felt that I cannot finish the points. This court is not great for me, for my game. It's very soft in a way. Even if you go and hit strong, I think that I hit well today, but not enough directions on the court. That's why I couldn't finish points.

Yeah, I got frustrated a little bit of that. I got tired because, yeah, I didn't train much. But she played well. She didn't miss. I think she loves to play here. It's her style.

Q. When you look back at the fact you haven't had much time since Wimbledon, does that help focus your mind that you have to play for the points now instead of thinking about the fact you haven't trained so much?
SIMONA HALEP: To play for?

Q. Does it help you try to focus that you have to play for the moment rather than thinking about the fact that you haven't been able to train?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I play for this moment. I'm not thinking what it was few weeks ago, the last two, three months. I got injured, so was not my fault. I did everything well, but it happened.

Now I'm happy that my back is okay. I can fight till the end in no pain. In my opinion, it was a good match for both of us. She was better today. That's why she won.

But I'm not very disappointed. I did my game, but didn't help me enough to get closer or to win it.

Q. How much of a factor was the match against Bianca? Were you feeling tired from that match still today?
SIMONA HALEP: No. When I started the match, I was okay. I recovered yesterday. The rallies are very long with Elina. On this court is even tougher because it's slow. The ball doesn't really come to you sometimes, sometimes doesn't bounce. It's really tough to find a rhythm. That's why sometimes I start to overhit, and then I get tired.

Q. On a court like this, do you need to make tactical changes to try to get the wins?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, it's good that it's only one tournament like this (smiling).

Yeah, I have to improve in my game to be able to win these matches. I need tactical to do something different. I talked to Darren after the match. Actually it's something to change there. I changed a little bit today. I hit some dropshots, some not good. But it's a plus. I'm going forward to change it.

Q. I think a lot of the players think the same about the court, don't they? Is it something you think you will raise with the WTA, maybe it's not a suitable surface for this tournament at this time of the year?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, this is a good point. We all are tired after a long year. We have to do extra work on the shots and the points on this surface. But we have what we have, and that's it.

I'm not going to complain about that.

Q. How important is it for you to have Darren back on your team?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, it's really important and it's really good that he's back on my team. I feel that every day I'm improving in something. It's just the beginning of new relationship, coach and player. I'm just looking forward to get better and better.

I have big goals still. I feel happy that I have him again in my team.

Q. In what ways do you think your partnership has improved over the last few years?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, has improved. I'm listening more now. I understand more what he wants to do with my game. I'm in a good position. Hopefully I can do everything he says.

Q. Now that you've won slams on clay and grass, a lot of success on hard courts, are you looking yourself to target the career Grand Slam?
SIMONA HALEP: Definitely. My goal every year is to win a Grand Slam now. I won twice. I feel more and more that I'm able to do that. But I know how difficult is to win a Grand Slam. I just try to work on it, but I don't put pressure.

Yeah, it's going to be great if I can win on hard court. You never know. I'm going to work for all surfaces, then we will see what is going to happen.

Q. You have Karolina Pliskova in the final round. Your thoughts on facing her?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, on this surface we never played, so I don't know what to expect. It's going to be different than today. She hits the ball strong, has a different style.

Again, I will focus on myself. I will focus on the plan that I have to do. I really want to win because I want to qualify from this group. I have four years I think already. This is the main goal.

But we will see. Hopefully I can recover because I'm a little bit tired, and to play better than today.

Q. Someone said on Twitter yesterday that Darren coming onto court in the match against Andreescu, that was what made the difference, that you would not have won if that had not happened. He said that's why he thinks on-court coaching is a bad things. He thinks players should work it out for themselves. Do you prefer to have on-court coaching?
SIMONA HALEP: I lost many matches for this situation. If the rule is going to go also for Grand Slams, I am okay with it, to have the coach every tournament. If not, I'm happy also to remove it.

But, yeah, I agree with the person who said that you can win matches because of the coach. Also you can lose matches because the other opponent is calling the coach. So he's right.

Q. There is a huge screen behind the baseline. As a player on the court, during the break, what is your feeling about this?
SIMONA HALEP: I don't see it when I play. Is not bothering me. It's nice to see. But, yeah, I don't see it when I play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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