home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


January 18, 2020

Simona Halep

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Curious about how you felt your week went in Adelaide. Maybe you would have wanted to play more tennis matches. How are you feeling about your tennis coming into a new season?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I feel good in my tennis even if I don't have many matches. I just try to get used to the official matches because it's way different than practices.

I did my best in Adelaide, but I couldn't win that match because Sabalenka was literally too strong that day. It was really tough for me to get the rhythm.

But coming here, having extra days for practice and to get used to the court and atmosphere, it's a positive. I feel good. I'm ready actually to start.

Q. What did you take away from the Sabalenka match? Was that something she was too good on the day or did you take lessons from it to bring into this week?
SIMONA HALEP: I took lessons from that match. My opinion is that I had to play different a little bit. I tried to play too strong as she likes it. I have to change that next time.

A little bit better with the return, because she has a huge serve. Yeah, I have few things that I have to improve.

Q. Last year you used the word 'chill' to describe your year. What is your vibe this year? Do you have a word?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it's been taken wrong way a little bit, my 'chill' word. It was just the relief that I won a Grand Slam previous year. Yeah, I used 'chill' word just to show I'm more relaxed now about the results.

But hasn't been a very chill year because I worked hard. Actually, it was a great year because I won Wimbledon. I didn't expect that.

But now I feel motivated. I work hard in the pre-season. I've been to Dubai. I changed something because every time I was doing the off-season home in Romania, so I changed that.

I'm more prepared than last year when I started. But you cannot see everything in a few matches in the first month. So I take it as a big picture this year. I will see how good I can be.

Q. Given your history with this tournament, coming as close as you did, the fact you have an Australian coach, is this right at the top of your list as ones you want to win?
SIMONA HALEP: I want it badly. But it's very difficult. Also the heat sometimes. Sometimes it's cold. The changes are not easy for me to adjust. For me, the very humid atmosphere, when I played the final, it was tough for me.

I have just to be ready for every match I play and not thinking about the result. I put pressure on myself and I don't like that.

Q. Working with Darren again, how has that been? Do you think it will help you for the coming few weeks?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it's great to have him back in my team. We had a great collaboration before. Now it's the same.

Yeah, we have many things to do together. I have still many things to learn from him. So I'm happy to have him again by my side.

Q. Caroline Wozniacki, you and her are obviously linked because of the fantastic final you played two years ago. Now that you've since won two Grand Slams of your own, how do you look back at that final two years on? What are your memories of it, particularly that Caroline is stepping away?
SIMONA HALEP: It's been always a positive memory for me. I always said that match gave me confidence that in one day I'm going to win a Grand Slam. It was a very, very good match.

Every time I'm thinking about Australian Open, that match comes up. It gives me confidence, gives me the belief that I have a chance to play well here. Yeah, I think it was a great tournament for both of us. For her it was better, for sure (smiling).

Q. How about Serena Williams, do you think she can win another Grand Slam? Are you impressed by her longevity?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I'm very impressed about her, that she's keep playing at this level, with being a mother and also being a little bit older than us. It's impressive what she does.

Yeah, I feel like they can do it more.

Q. About Wozniacki again, she will quit, stop tennis. Will she be missed?
SIMONA HALEP: Oh, for sure, yes, because she's a very nice person. We actually got used to see her every day in the tournaments on tour, for sure.

She's going to be missed. Also I'm sure she has many good things ahead. She will be happy.

Q. A few of the women travel with hitting partners, sparring partner, on tour. You usually have used the ones at the tournament.

Q. What do you like in a practice partner? What do you think makes a good sparring partner?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, to play a little bit flatter, as the girls on tour. If you play with a normal guy, the topspin is too heavy. You cannot get used to the rhythm that you have to.

So to be strong, to be able to run a lot, because sometimes you need to train opening the court. To serve very well, because at this level most of the girls are very, very good servers.

Return is important, to stay very close to the baseline, because most of the girls now are very tall and they step in and just take the return fast. So I think it has to be like a big package of a player to be a good hitting partner.

Q. Does that sparring partner have to listen well to what you need?
SIMONA HALEP: To listen well? Actually, the communication I think is the most important thing at this level.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297