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August 31, 2013

Simona Halep


S. HALEP/M. Kirilenko
6‑1, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Could you talk about this incredible run you've been on these last few months and what you think is going right for you.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, it was incredible period for me.  I played really good.  I am more aggressive, more relaxed on court.  I just want to take the pleasure every point and to fight for every point.
So I feel good my body, and I play really, really good now.

Q.  You said on the court you played one of the best matches in your career.  Do you still feel that way?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah.  It was the best match ever for me.  I played incredible today.  No mistakes.  Before the match I wanted to be more aggressive on court, and I did very well.
She is a great player, top player.  I just wanted to enjoy the match and to try my best.

Q.  How do you feel about playing in this environment?  Some find it very distracting.
SIMONA HALEP:  I have energy for playing here.  I played really good in New Haven, a good week, the best week in my life.  When I came here, I just wanted to keep my energy on.
I just practice few times.  My first match, first round, was very difficult because she had set and 4‑3.  But I came back.  That match was very important for me.

Q.  Is this as confident as you've ever felt in a Grand Slam?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I'm more confident now.  With this result, I can think that I can do more and more.  So we'll see.  Next round will be tough.

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about Romania, Romanian tennis, what the status has been recently?  Do you have contact at all with Tiriac and Nastase from way back?  Are you from Bucharest?
SIMONA HALEP:  I'm from Constanta, but I'm practicing in Bucharest.  I moved few years ago just for tennis.
Yeah, we have a small country, but we are a lot of girls in top 100 now.  We had also good players.  Ilie Nastase was the best.  Virginia Ruzici, she won a Grand Slam.
We are just fighting girls, I think, and we like to work every day.  We have power for win a lot of matches.  So I don't speak personal very much with Tiriac and Nastase, but I like them.  I appreciate them because they were very special players on court.
Just keep focus on my job.  I want to try to be better and better.

Q.  When did you leave your hometown?  Tell us a little bit about your hometown.
SIMONA HALEP:  There it's beach, Black Sea.  It's very nice there.  I go there weekends when I have time.  My family is there and I love that city.
But Bucharest for tennis is better and I have to do this.  But after tennis, I want to go back home.

Q.  How do you prepare for the match?  Is it special for Kirilenko?  What are you going to do with Svetlana?
SIMONA HALEP:  Every time is the same preparation for the match.  I just want to be relaxed before the match and to keep my energy on, just to think about my game, how to play, how to move on court.

Q.  What is the best player you've beaten so far in your career?  How far do you think you can go at this year's US Open?
SIMONA HALEP:  Next round will be tough because I play against Pennetta.  It's tough match.  I played against her in Bastad this year.  I was a little bit injured there, but I played good.  It's good challenge for me.  I hope that I will play good next round.
I want to think just for the next round.

Q.  Is this the healthiest you've been?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yes, very healthy now.  I am happy for that.

Q.  Only Romania and Russia has six women players on the main draw.  You're left alone right now.  How are you feeling?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I'm happy that I can win a lot of matches here.  I played really good.  I want to enjoy this tournament.  It's a big tournament.  Here it's very special.
I feel good.  I just want to keep going.

Q.  Do you think this surface suits your play style?
SIMONA HALEP:  I played good also on clay this year, and grass, here also.  I cannot say which one is my favorite surface.  But I enjoy every surface now.

Q.  What do you like the most about the United States and what do you like the least about the United States?
SIMONA HALEP:  I like this city because it's crazy city, a lot of people.  I'm enjoying the Fifth Avenue.  I go to the shopping every day.  It's special than others.

Q.  There's a custom for the players who win the match to sign the balls, share the celebration with the fans.  You left the court, you didn't sign the balls.  Why was it?
SIMONA HALEP:  I signed a few.

Q.  Not in the tunnel.
SIMONA HALEP:  Oh, in the tunnel.  I was a little bit tired after the match, very wet because was hot.  I just wanted to go to the locker room and to do my preparation for recovery, my recovery.

Q.  You said you were not adjusting to the match according to your opponent but you play your game.  You're strong enough that you can impose your game on the opponent.
SIMONA HALEP:  Now at this moment, yeah, I think I am.  I just try every time to play my game.  It was really good this period.  I did really good.

Q.  Do you feel any pressure after winning four tournaments this year, being present in the Round of 16 for the first time at the US Open?  Any pressure on you?
SIMONA HALEP:  No, I don't feel pressure because I just want to enjoy this tournament.  It's very big and very special.  I played really good this summer.  Now I have just to keep going and to have pleasure because it's first time on fourth round.  So we'll see next round what I do.

Q.  Talk about your coaching, who you're working with.
SIMONA HALEP:  He was with me since March, but behind me, not with me.  I just had a sparring with me.  In New Haven I started official to work with him.  Marcu Adrian is his name.

Q.  You played well in Cincinnati.  Is your form improving?  You're playing better at the US Open?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yes, I feel that I play better than Cincinnati and then before.  But every time I have to improve more.  I do this thing and I have to keep going ahead.

Q.  Speaking of Cincinnati, you beat Marion Bartoli in Cincinnati.  It was the last match for her.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yes, I was impressed that she retired after the match with me.  It was her decision and we have to respect it.  We wish her all the best.
She was a special player on tour.  Was good for me, that tournament, because I played really good there.  Against Stosur I played good and I won that match.  Against Serena, it was more difficult.  I just took the pleasure there.

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