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January 30, 2020

Simona Halep

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


7-6, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Very hot when the match started. Very hot when it ended. How were you feeling with the conditions today?
SIMONA HALEP: Yes, it was very, very hot today and I felt it. Killed me after the first set, in the end of the first set. The sun was strong.

Yeah, I didn't like that much to play in this weather.

Q. Were there any conversations about closing the roof? It has to be 5.0 and it was 4.9.
SIMONA HALEP: I heard something, but I didn't get into it. Decisions are for the tournament to take. It's okay. For both of us was tough, so...

Q. Would you have liked to see the roof closed in conditions like today?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I would love to see the roof closed. But rules are rules. We have to accept.

Q. Talk through the match. Obviously you had chances in both sets to take them. What do you think at the end of the day was the difference in each set for you?
SIMONA HALEP: To lose like this hurts more, definitely. I'm in pain now, I have to admit. But life is going on.

I think maybe I could be a little bit more brave in the points that were important. I didn't do that. Maybe I went a little bit defensive in those balls and I couldn't take the domination of the point.

She served very well in the important moments. My return was not great today. I think it was a good match for both of us, but she was stronger in the end. In the important moments she played a little bit more braver.

Q. When you say you could have been more brave or do things differently, is it more stuff she was doing or the conditions? A combination?
SIMONA HALEP: I don't know what it was exactly. Also she was very strong with the game. I think I had many chances to win this match, but didn't happen.

Means that she was better today.

Q. What do you do after a loss like this? Analyze what happened or move on straightaway?
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't talk tennis with my team yet. I have just to cool down a little bit, then to analyze what I did wrong and what I have to do better.

It's a good tournament. It's a semifinal. I won't do a drama. But it hurts.

Q. When you talk about being brave in certain moments, is it difficult to make that decision because there would also be 90 seconds where she would miss forehand, forehand, forehand, maybe give her no pace? I don't know. Was it difficult to find the line to play?
SIMONA HALEP: It's tough to play against her because, yeah, she doesn't give much rhythm. She can miss few balls in a row, then she can make unbelievable shots.

At that moment I didn't have the clear mind to do what I had to do. But I will learn from this match and for sure next time when I will have set point I will go for it.

Q. Do you think the way she's playing she could win the tournament?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I think she's able to win the tournament.

Q. What was your reaction to Ash going out to Sofia, as well? Did you watch any of the match?
SIMONA HALEP: I watched a little bit because I was playing after. Ash had many chances also in the first and second set. Sometimes it happens. Maybe Kenin is very excited to be in this position, and she didn't think that much about the score, she just went for it.

Ash being home, I think she had a little bit of extra pressure. But she's No. 1 in the world. She did semis. She's fine, I'm sure.

Q. Does that change the pressure on you at all when Ash goes out, you're the top player left in the tournament?
SIMONA HALEP: No, no. I was leading the match. Didn't actually mean that I felt pressure. I just couldn't win today.

Q. When Garbine plays like that, it makes us wonder how is she not always ranked higher. In your eyes, do you think the tour is in a better place when she can play like that and pushing you guys?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, if she can play every day like this, she can be No. 1, for sure. But it's tough to do that. The consistency on tour, it's the most important thing and the toughest one.

She's a great champion. She knows how to win Grand Slams, how to win titles. She's okay. Everyone has tough periods. She had before here.

Q. When you said that you felt the heat, how does that impact your game?
SIMONA HALEP: The level of energy went down a little bit, and I felt it in the legs. I was not used in the last two weeks to it, we didn't have that much heat. And today I felt the sun little bit too much.

Yeah, it was not 100% right for me, but it is how it is.

Q. The weather has been patchy over the last fortnight. Did that make today more difficult? Cold some days.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it was more difficult today because when you don't have days in a row with the heat, you lose a little bit feeling. When the heat hits you, it's tough to adjust yourself. I'm talking about myself.

Today was difficult.

Q. Not the best time to ask, and I apologize. Your deal with Darren, about the bushfire money, did you come to a total?
SIMONA HALEP: I didn't ask, yeah. Definitely I will have more today (smiling). I will do 100%. I just let him calm down little bit, then I will ask.

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