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February 15, 2014

Simona Halep


S. HALEP/A. Radwanska
7‑5, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Congratulations.  You're one step closer to your first title here. You played very aggressive tonight.  Will you play the same way tomorrow?
SIMONA HALEP:  Thank you.  I feel very happy I can play the final tomorrow, so it's unbelievable tournament for me.
I played really well tonight.  I started to feel the ball very strong, but it wasn't a good way to win the match.  At 5‑2, I said that I have nothing to lose anymore and to change the tactic.  I played smart aggressive, and I wanted just to let her give me the balls back.
I had to do my points, my game.  And I was aggressive, but I started to play more crosses, short crosses, and I wanted to finish the ball with the drive volley.  And also I hit some dropshots, so I think it was a complete game.
I played really well tonight.

Q.  We saw your coach taking down notes yesterday during the quarterfinals.  Did that come down to that?  He was taking notes from Radwanska's match.  Did it come down to that?  Did that help?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, we discussed yesterday about the match, and today also.  So he told me that I have to be aggressive, but it's better to be smart aggressive, because she's a great player.  She's running very well.  She's very intelligent on court.
So I have to change to be smart aggressive, to serve very well with my first serve and to hit the ball when I have the chance to make the point.

Q.  You play Kerber tomorrow.  Can you talk about this matchup and what you maybe would do differently or how you're approaching it?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I will try to enjoy the final, for sure.  For sure I will have emotions because it's my first final here in Doha, and I feel very well.
Yeah, she's a great player, a top player, and I have just to be again aggressive.  I will start the match to be aggressive, and then maybe if it's not working I will change again.
But, yeah, I have to be aggressive and to do my game.

Q.  You're obviously a top‑10 player and everything, but we tend to always think about Serena or something like that.  Do you kind of like being a top‑10 player but not somebody who gets like all the publicity and attention?  Or would you like more attention?
SIMONA HALEP:  I don't like more attention.  I like just to keep focused for every match, to don't think about the ranking now.  Just to try to be very relaxed on court, to keep the pleasure, because this pleasure was the secret I think for my performance.
Now I have to do the game every day and to take care of my body, because I play a lot of matches and I have to be fit every time.
So I will see about this.  I will think my goal this year would be to remain close to top 10.

Q.  How is the Achilles?
SIMONA HALEP:  It's okay.  I want to forget the pain now, because I feel very happy about tonight.
It's okay.  I will have to recover very fast, because tomorrow I have to run again.

Q.  How do you think your standard is now compared with your standard when you finished last year?  It looks higher.  Do you feel that?
SIMONA HALEP:  I feel that I really found my way to play.  When I started this year I was a little bit afraid that I lost my confidence, because I lost in Sydney first round.
But I came back with my mental.  I'm strong mentally now, I think.  Yeah, I found again my game to be aggressive and to have pleasure on court.

Q.  When you played finals before, did it feel different from any other match, or were you able to keep it with your mind focused?
SIMONA HALEP:  No, I feel better, because I played six finals last year and I am more confident with myself now.
I just keep focused to play like it's first round, and I think that's the secret, to play without pressure, just to keep focused and to be happy on court.

Q.  Can you talk a little bit about next week, playing in Dubai?  The draw is already out.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah.  First I want to think about the match from tomorrow.  I saw that I will play Cornet, so it will be a tough match.
First I will focus about the next match here, to finish this tournament, and then I will see what is happening.

Q.  I heard you asking the crowd to come back.  So did the crowd help you?  Does it feel like playing home?  Because many people were cheering there for you.
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, a lot of people came here tonight to support me, like every day.  Everywhere they are coming, and it's a big support for me, because I like to have the people who supporting me during the match I need.  And also my family is here, my very close friends.
So, yeah, I want to thank them for supporting, and, yeah, I want to come tomorrow again.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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