Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. That was an ideal match, you weren’t under any real threat.
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, it was a good match because I won it. I changed a little bit. I tried to finish the points faster because I’m a little bit tired.
She played well, I think. The level was pretty good. I served very well. Yeah, at some points I really ran very well. I’m confident. I feel good on court even if I’m tired.
Q. What was the mindset going in against a player like her, who has played so well in the past, but isn’t exactly at her best?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, it’s always tough one against her because she stays close to the baseline and takes the ball very fast. I try just to push her back as much as possible. After, when I had the chance, I was aggressive and I finished the points. I looked after this.
I tried to go to the net as much as possible to take the swing volley. Even if I miss few, it was a good tactic, in my opinion, and that’s why I could take in the important moments the points.
Q. How are you feeling physically after a tough final in Doha? Are you feeling good?
SIMONA HALEP: Let’s say I feel okay, not good (smiling). It’s normal. I had so many matches and tough ones. Coming from Fed Cup, it was a little bit exhausting mentally.
I do what I can here. I try just to leave everything on court, then we’ll see if I can win or not.
Q. When you talk about the tactics, changing the tactics, knowing how to play Genie today, who is helping you with tactics right now? Is this off your experience? The team?
SIMONA HALEP: My experience. I didn’t talk much about the match before to go on court. I just want to find my energy. If I have energy on court, I think I’m able to do some things, good things, to be able to win some matches. But is never easy. I will take match by match and I will see.
Q. Do you feel like you’re learning more about yourself as a player, solving some of these opponents without outside help?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah, I had a lot of help in the past. Four years with Darren was I think enough to learn some things. Now I’m trying just to put them into the matches.
It’s good for me. I take the responsibility. I think I get better if I can manage all the situations during the match.
Q. When the crowd is like that, a Bucharest match it sounded at times, do you hear everything that’s happening around?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, of course. I hear everything, every word. Someone said is going to lose the plane tonight and I have to finish faster. I don’t know if it’s positive for me during the match, but I took it. I lost the game, but then I won (smiling).
Yeah, I hear everything.
Q. You don’t try to block it out? You just take it?
SIMONA HALEP: If you force yourself to block out, you lose energy. I think if you just be normal on court and trying to focus when the point starts, I think it’s good enough to be able to play.
Q. Next you might have to play Lesia Tsurenko again. Your that’s on her as an opponent?
SIMONA HALEP: Is going to be different because I’m a little bit tired. She is different on court. She plays without pace much, but she directs the balls very well.
It’s going to be a tough one. I have to move. I have to run. We will see how I will feel tomorrow. Hopefully I can recover as much as possible to be able to win the match.
Q. We ran some numbers: since you made your top 10 debut in 2014, you’ve never fallen out of the top 10. It’s the longest active streak. How do you do that? No one is close to you. Pliskova is number two with half the weeks. What has been the key the last four or five years?
SIMONA HALEP: That’s interesting. I think the fact that I’m working every day the same, and I never – how should I explain? I was focused on my job a lot. I never felt that I want to quit or to relax myself, to not going to the tournaments. Even if some moments are tough during the years, I just got back on court and tried to work hard, tried to work the same.
Also I had a good team. They took care of my body. Mentally, as well. With Darren was good because he motivated me every time. I think everyone around me, I have a positive vibe, and that’s why I can stay relaxed. I feel the pleasure.
When I go on court, I just want to compete and to be the best. I think these things together made me to be so consistent on tour.