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February 20, 2020

Simona Halep

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

S. HALEP/A. Sabalenka

3-6, 6-2, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Next match in straights sets, please.
SIMONA HALEP: I hope so. I want that (smiling).

Q. What are your thoughts on the match?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, at the beginning it was a little bit fast everything, too powerful. Since I got the rhythm, it was much easier for me to feel the game.

I think I played quicker in the second set and third set. She didn't have time to stay and to hit the ball. So I think that was the key of the match.

Q. You looked really fired up out there. How have these back-to-back battles gone for you emotionally?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, I'm pretty okay. Emotional I'm really good. It's good to have tough matches. I'm here to give everything I have to win every match I play. I'm happy with these matches.

But as he said, I need one match in two sets (smiling).

Q. You said in Adelaide you didn't touch the ball. How beneficial was it for you that that match was just a few weeks ago?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it was important that I had the chance to play a few weeks ago against her. I knew how the rhythm is. Still, at the beginning of the match was difficult to find it.

Against her you have to stay focused for every ball. You never know how it's going to be. So I just been strong on my legs. I had actually to open the court when I had the chance.

Q. What are your thoughts on the semifinals?
SIMONA HALEP: It's good to be in the semifinals again here. I love the conditions. I love playing in Dubai. I just want to enjoy, to take it as an opportunity to win another match.

I know it's going to be tough. We played in Melbourne, and was not easy.

Q. What do you like about being here?
SIMONA HALEP: I don't know. The people. The weather. The court I like. Just everything. I feel very comfortable.

Q. The match in Melbourne with Brady, the first set was close, but you managed to pull away. What do you think she's doing well at the moment?
SIMONA HALEP: Confidence. I think she's got a lot of confidence during these matches. She's winning against tough opponents and top players. She has a strong game. Her forehand is really good. She improved in the backhand.

It's a tough one, but I'm ready to play it. Hopefully I can do my job.

Q. First time you're back in the semis here since 2015. You had an off-season here. Do you see a connection?
SIMONA HALEP: For sure it's a connection. I played also last year very well. I was leading the match, but I couldn't finish it. Last year was not a negative tournament. I got it.

Coming here with confidence helped me to go through the tournament.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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