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March 12, 2014

Simona Halep


S. HALEP/C. Dellacqua
6‑2, 6‑2

THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Are you getting bored with these victory press conferences?
SIMONA HALEP:  No.  It's nice to be here because it means that I won.  I'm happy to be here to speak about the match.

Q.  So talk about the match a little bit.  You said yesterday that your legs were feeling heavy at this tournament.  It must have been nice to get on and off the court quickly.
SIMONA HALEP:  Today was better.  I felt very well on court to my game also.  I was moving really well today.  I had no pressure, and I was more relaxed than yesterday.
I tried my best.  My game to be aggressive, to hit the balls, and I did really well today.  It was better than the days before.

Q.  Why do you think you had less pressure today?
SIMONA HALEP:  I won two matches, two important matches before.  I said that if I'm in quarterfinals I have just to enjoy to play what I can, what I can to do today, so I tried, and everything was going very well.

Q.  The other day you said you weren't sure if you could win the tournament, but certainly the players that you are going to play next you have beaten this year already.  It's certainly a possibility you could make the final, right?
SIMONA HALEP:  I said, yeah, it's too far, but I have a chance.  I have my chance.  So I'm trying to get it.
Next round will be very tough.  Both of them are good players.  And I beat them, but every time, every match, it's different, and you have to be very focused to fight for it.
I will try my best again.  Why not?  I'm looking forward to get my chance to be in the final.
But will be not easy.  I know this, and I hope that I will be ready for the semifinals without pressure and just enjoy.

Q.  How is it working with Wim?
SIMONA HALEP:  It's okay.  I feel well.  It's going really well.
He's a good coach.  I think it's third tournament together and I think it's going good.  If I'm winning, it's okay.

Q.  Last year you won, incredibly, six tournaments, three different surfaces, but you're still not very well known to the public.  Is there anything you can tell us about yourself as a person, how you like to approach life, what you like to do off court?
SIMONA HALEP:  I'm a normal girl, like everybody, and I like just to go to the shopping.  Here I did every day something.  I bought something every day.
Listening music.  Speaking on Whatsapp on my phone.  I don't watch movies in my room because I cannot stay two hours focused (smiling).
I'm going to eat here in cheesecake every evening, so enjoying.  Just enjoying, and I try to be very relaxed after I play.

Q.  So Jelena said she's really into shoes.  She has a tremendous shoe collection.  What do you like to go for shopping?
SIMONA HALEP:  Yeah, I bought sunglasses here.  I can say what I bought.  Shoes.  Clothes also.  Everything.  Everything I like I buy (smiling).
But not very expensive.  I have to keep my money.  That's why I'm working, no?

Q.¬† And speaking of money, one of the most famous stories in tennis is about how Serena and Venus' father Richard were watching the match ‑ I think with your manager, Virginia ‑ when she won...
SIMONA HALEP:  I heard this, yes.  Virginia told me about this.  Because of her they started to play tennis, I think, the Williams sisters.
Yeah, it's amazing to hear this.  I'm happy that I have her close to me, to be my manager.  We have already six years together.
I think she will be my manager maybe all career.

Q.  So if Virginia didn't win that tournament, maybe women's tennis would be completely different, yes?
SIMONA HALEP:  Maybe (smiling).  I don't know.  Yeah, maybe, but the Williams sisters are great champions.  They are the best, I think.  Serena is the best.

Q.  You received a wildcard at Madrid last year from Tiriac, and then after that the year really took off for you.  Can you talk about that, and was it important?
SIMONA HALEP:  Very important.  Three years ago he gave me also for quallies the wildcard, and he's helping me a lot every time.
Yeah, it's very important to have a chance to play on main draw at big tournaments.  So I had the chance, and after that I started to play really well.  That was very important moment in my life.
Because I came from one big injury at my back, and I started really well after that.

Q.  Why did you and Virginia decide that you needed like a new, outside coach or a new coach when you contacted Wim?
SIMONA HALEP:  I just wanted to change a little bit the mentality to see how it's going on other countries.  I think in Romania it's a little bit different mentality.  Now it's better because I see that I can do at high level and I can have a coach from other country.
It's good for my experience, I think.

Q.  A tough question:  Who creates a better tournament and is better for tennis:  the Romanian banker, Tiriac, with his Madrid tournament, or Larry Ellison the computer billionaire here?  What's a better tournament?
SIMONA HALEP:  What's the better tournament, Madrid or this one?

Q.  Yes.  And who has more of an impact, Tiriac or Ellison?
SIMONA HALEP:  Tough question (smiling).
Oh, I think both of them.  For me, it's like Tiriac is Romanian and it's good for us, because there I had a chance to play on main draw when I couldn't.
Here it's one of the biggest tournament in the world, and, you know, I want to thank to everybody who is doing everything to do this tournaments for us.
It's amazing here.  Also in Madrid I like.  So both of them are very important for us, for the tennis women.  And, yeah, it's really great to have big tournaments.

Q.  How much contact do you have with Ion, and do you go to him for advice, as well?  Does he provide you with information and advice and suggestions?
SIMONA HALEP:  I never spoke with him.  Just once in Madrid when I wanted to say thank you for the wildcard.
So he's speaking I think with Virginia more, and she's telling me what he's saying about me.
He said that I'm a good player and I'm a good fighter.  I'm very happy for that.

Q.  Do you have any contact with Ilie Nastase?
SIMONA HALEP:  No.  He came me Fed Cup in Budapest and we spoke a little bit there.

Q.  One of the fun things about tennis is that each country seems to have its own culture, and that's expressed in the type of tennis that they play.  So we spoke to Ivanovic a few days ago.  She said Serbs were temperamental and combustible and sometimes angry.  What's the Romanian culture within tennis?

Q.  Personality.
SIMONA HALEP:  My personality in Romania or?

Q.  Yeah, all the Romanians who play tennis, what's kind of the personality that you put out on court, do you think?
SIMONA HALEP:  I think we have good personality on court.  We are strong girls, so mentally we are strong.  Romania, it's a small country, and we don't have a big possibility to train there.  We don't have a lot of clubs.  We don't have a lot of courts.
But, you know, if we like what we do, it's the most important.  We fight for our chance to get better every time.
I think now I am more recognized in Romania.  Everybody's coming to support me where they can, so it's okay.  I feel good at home.  I like home and I like my country.

Q.  So when you get recognized back in Romania, what sort of places?  Is it just walking down the street?

Q.  Going to a restaurant?
SIMONA HALEP:  Everywhere.  Also the parking (smiling).  Yeah, I was surprised when I wanted to park and I didn't have space.  Someone came and put me in front of the hotel.  So you can park here, he told me.  Everybody knows me now.

Q.  Do they want pictures, autographs?
SIMONA HALEP:  No, they tell me, Hello and, Well done.  No pictures, no.

Q.  We talked to Radwanska before the tournament.  She said about your match in Doha that she thought that she played well and there wasn't anything that she could do to get you off that day.  Talk with that match and how well were you playing that day?
SIMONA HALEP:¬† Yeah, it was my best tennis there.¬† I played really well.¬† I was enjoying that tournament.¬† She had 5‑2.¬† She played really well.¬† I started the match with one tactic, but it wasn't too good.¬† I wanted to hit every ball, and she likes this game.
Then I said, I have to change something.  I was opening the court more and good angles.  Started to finish the point very quickly, because if you stay more in the rallies with Radwanska, it's not easy.  You have to run a lot.
She's very smart player, and I wanted to play the same, like smart, smart aggressive.¬† That was my tactic after 2‑5.

Q.  Will you win a Grand Slam tournament?  If so, which one would you like to win first?
SIMONA HALEP:  My goal, it's to win in French, French Open.  But still so far.

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