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February 19, 2020

Simona Halep

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

S. HALEP/O. Jabeur

1-6, 6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You must be relieved after that.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, actually I am. In the end I don't know how I could finish that in a right way. But it was up-and-down a lot because she doesn't give rhythm. It was very weird, but happy I could win.

Q. Talk about the atmosphere.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it was like a football match or a Fed Cup match. I didn't really realize what is going on on court. Everyone was with a lot of energy so we had to give our best. I think it was a great match.

Q. Talk a bit about her game. She's been doing well, trying to improve. Can you compare the match in Beijing to now.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I feel she's a little bit more stronger than last year when we played. I was injured, but I felt her game pretty well at that moment. As I said, it's really tough to read her game because she doesn't give rhythm. She can make unbelievable shots; she can miss a little bit too easy.

But she's improving a lot. I'm sure that she can do it better.

Q. Is there anything you were disappointed with in your own game tonight?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I don't really know at this moment because with this type of match, you don't really know during the match what is going on.

After a long period that I didn't play matches, after that semifinal that I lost in Australia, I'm really happy that I could just fight till the end and to turn it around even if I was leading 4-1. I was down in the tiebreak. But it was a good match.

Q. Tell us about what Arte told you when he came to the court.
SIMONA HALEP: Honestly, I have no idea. He just said that I don't have to play only on her backhand, so...

Q. Should we worry about your back?
SIMONA HALEP: It was that backhand at 5-1 when I was hitting it wrong. I felt that the back is blocked. But then I felt better. Now is no pain. Hopefully tomorrow it's okay.

Q. Talk a bit about the matchup with Sabalenka and the threat she poses.
SIMONA HALEP: There is not much to talk because she's hitting very strong the ball. In Australia I didn't touch the ball that much in that match. But tomorrow is a new day.

I'm different than Adelaide. Hopefully I can play better.

Q. In a match like this, how easy is it to say, Forget it, I'll come back another day?
SIMONA HALEP: Tomorrow is a different match, so I have to forget this one.

Q. In a match like today, how difficult is it to keep competing when you're going up and down?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, is the only one thing that you have to do when you don't have rhythm during the match, just put your head down and fight for every ball. You never know when you can win an easy ball or a tough ball.

What I had to do is just to fight. I'm really proud that I could do that after a break that I had.

Q. You have so many fans. For here, this is an Arab country, technically she should have the crowd. How do you make sense of the kind of support you get here?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, it's a good period for Romanians to come in Dubai to have a holiday. That's why many Romanians are here supporting me. It was great. It's always nice.

But I felt that the crowd was fair for both of us. I hope also that we gave them a good show.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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