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January 18, 2022

Simona Halep

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Press Conference

S. HALEP/M. Frech

6-4, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: You've been in Melbourne awhile, won quite a few matches. How does it feel to get your Grand Slam campaign underway?

SIMONA HALEP: Well, it's a little bit more difficult. The first match is always tough. I was very nervous.

But I'm really happy with the way I played, with the way I've been on court. Going through to the second round makes me happy.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You had some problems with serve, but in the rallies you were great. How do you feel on the court now?

SIMONA HALEP: I had problems before with the serve? I didn't get it.

Q. There was three breakpoints in first.

SIMONA HALEP: Okay, during the match.

Yeah, my serve is not that strong like other players that are very tall. I didn't feel like it was a big minus today. Was not great, but was not bad.

I feel like in a big picture was good game for the first match. It's always tough. I'm always nervous. But also she didn't play that bad. She was playing well. She was running very well. She was moving well.

I think was a good match and I take only the positives.

Q. Can we see you again in the finals? You had problems last year. How do you feel now?

SIMONA HALEP: I feel good physically. I have no problems. I think I'm fit. I worked hard in the off-season.

I don't know what to say about the final. It's one of my dreams to get there, but I know is difficult. I'm not going to think about that. I just take day by day.

Q. With all the matches that you played at the warmup and now, where would you say your comfort level is with where your game is right now? How much further do you feel you need to go, if at all?

SIMONA HALEP: Well, I don't believe I am at the highest level, my highest level, like in the past. But I feel good. I feel confident that the game is there, the movement is there. The mental is pretty strong.

Of course, it was not the best day today on court. As I said, was the first match of the Grand Slam, so is never easy. But I feel comfortable. I feel good and I feel that I'm in a good spot.

Q. On the mental point, how happy are you with how quickly you've been able to snap into that at the start of the season?

SIMONA HALEP: Well, I think the matches from last year and the end of the year, the smaller tournaments, helped me. I had a few good matches. I got the confidence back then.

I started the year in a good form. I was remembering the matches I played in Kluj, Linz, and Moscow as well. I didn't feel there was a big gap. It was the middle of last year. Then with the matches I played, felt like more normal.

Now I feel normal, I feel good, and I feel ready to fight.

Q. For so long you were towards the top of the game rankings-wise. Setting goals must have felt different this year. Does it feel nice at all to feel like you are chasing something?

SIMONA HALEP: No, I always had this chasing feeling also in the past. When I was No. 1 or No. 2, I always was chasing tournaments, sometimes ranking, but not that much. More titles because I like to win tournaments.

Now, yeah, chasing the ranking in a way, the top 10, feels good. I mean, it's a good motivation. It's a good challenge. I know it's not easy. It's going to be tough. I have to really win few good matches to get back there.

But I feel ready to do that. At least if I work hard, I think I have a chance.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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