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January 23, 2020

Simona Halep

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

S. HALEP/H. Dart

6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you talk through the match from your side, how did you see it and how did you not let it spiral a little bit out of control in the second set?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, it was not easy at all. Even if she doesn't hit very strong, she has good angles. Her ball doesn't have that much power to play against. I had to work a little bit more.

Yeah, I was very close to finish at 5-1. I was leading pretty well. But then, I don't know what happened, I lost the focus a little bit, and she started actually to play free. She didn't miss that much anymore. I played a little bit short. Then she came a little bit over me.

But I'm happy that I could hold that last game. That was important.

Q. She's been quite a late developer, Harriet. She's ranked about 170 at the moment. Having played her, do you see her as someone that could go higher than that? What about her game? Does she have a game to go high?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, definitely top 70, 60 in this moment. For sure she's going to improve more.

I see her that she can play a very high level tennis because she's very smart. She has a good feeling of the court, also good touching with the racquet.

So, yeah, I feel she can improve a lot very soon. Also the serve, I think it's important for her to improve because it's a little bit too slow.

Q. Your next possible opponents, either Collins who has done well in Australia the last couple years, or Yulia?
SIMONA HALEP: Putintseva, yeah.

I never played against Collins, but I know she had very good run here few years ago. She's playing really well in Australia.

I'm ready for the next match. Doesn't matter against who I play. I have just to do my job on court, not losing the focus again.

Q. Collins had a couple very sort of lopsided victories in the last couple weeks. If a player starts doing that, what do you try to do to turn a match around in general?
SIMONA HALEP: In general? You definitely have to fight for every ball. Definitely a player who is not top 10, when is playing against a top-10 player, is playing a little bit free and doesn't think that much about the result. That's why they are relaxed and they can play the best tennis, their best tennis.

I've been in that situation and it happen the same. We have just to be very concentrated on our game and not giving up even one point. You can turn around any match if you are there.

Q. Did you manage to talk to Darren after the match to see where your donation tally is at?
SIMONA HALEP: He told me actually that he cut everything at 50% because I won the match. I could finish the second set. So I'm in a good position (smiling).

Yeah, definitely I will donate everything I have done today.

Q. When you talk about players who are not top 10 playing freely, do you remember when that switched for you in your mind where you stopped being or feeling like the player who had nothing to lose, who was just going out and trying to beat whoever was on the other side of the court, to being somebody you felt like was a little bit more the one that everybody was trying to beat, feeling that pressure?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I kind of say that every time I feel that pressure. In the last six years, I've been in the position that everyone is chasing the top-10 player.

Few years ago, like five, six years ago, I still had that feeling that I want to, you know, fight, to show myself that I can beat the top-10 players.

Now it's changed. It's different seeing of the problem. I try just to get improved in that way. So I think I did pretty well. For every player, I think at this level every match is tough, even if you play with top hundred or out of top hundred. Everyone wants to beat you.

It's a, let's say, good fight every match, battle.

Q. On Putintseva, what would it be like if you played her?
SIMONA HALEP: Did we play together? Do you know that?

Q. Not sure.
SIMONA HALEP: I know she's fighting a lot. She's very loud on court. She's a very nice girl. We are talking all the time when we see each other. It's going to be a big battle. I'll be ready for that.

Q. If she gets loud, are you ready to get loud also?
SIMONA HALEP: No. I will just be how I am, that's enough (laughter).

Q. What do you and Yulia talk about all the time?
SIMONA HALEP: It's a secret. Normal subjects, nothing special. She is very nice.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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