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. Coming off a good week, you must be feeling good.
SIMONA HALEP: Two good weeks: Fed Cup and Doha.
Yeah, I feel good. I feel happy. A little bit tired, but it’s normal. I just arrived. Yeah, I’m looking forward actually to start with this one and see how it’s going to go. No expectations.
Q. The Laureus Awards tomorrow. How important is that to you?
SIMONA HALEP: What is important for me?
Q. The Laureus Award.
SIMONA HALEP: Laureus?
Q. You’re one of the nominees with Angelique Kerber.
SIMONA HALEP: I didn’t know, sorry. I had to play tennis, so I didn’t check (smiling).
It’s a great thing. It’s an honor. When is coming up?
SIMONA HALEP: Tomorrow. Keep the fingers crossed for me, please (laughter).
Q. How important will that be to you?
SIMONA HALEP: It’s going to be very important. It’s something different. Like I said, it’s an honor. I hope I can win it. But I have tough competitors, so we will see.
Q. What do you think was the key last week for you? Was it the energy of the Fed Cup? Was it just the focus? How surprised are you, if at all, how well you are playing so quickly?
SIMONA HALEP: Yeah, I was a little bit surprised because I played really well. Coming from indoor is never easy to adjust yourself.
Also in the final, I think I had no more energy in the third set. Even if I had that chance to make 3-2, I didn’t make it. Then I felt like the energy is going even lower. It was tough to handle it.
She played really well. She deserved to win that match because she was fresher than me. But still it was a great result for me. I will keep it. I will take it.
Q. Talking about this week, how difficult is it to turn around for a tournament that’s this big coming off of what was already a pretty grueling tournament in Doha?
SIMONA HALEP: Well, yeah, it’s not easy, but it’s nice here. Always when I come here, it’s a good feeling. Everywhere I win a tournament, I have a good feeling coming back.
It’s going to be a good week, doesn’t matter the result. I have no expectations. I just want to recover because I have some little pain. But I’m sure that in two days I will be better.
Hopefully I can play good tennis, even if I don’t have enough time to get used to the courts. It’s a little bit different, even if it’s the same, the hard court.
But I’m confident. If the confidence is high, it’s much better.
Q. What do you like about being here?
SIMONA HALEP: I don’t know. The atmosphere. The people, they are very nice to me. I feel like holiday sometimes. That’s why maybe I’m relaxed and I can play my best tennis.
Yeah, like I said, everywhere I win a tournament, I have good memories. When I come, I feel safer.
Q. What makes it feel like a holiday here?
SIMONA HALEP: The place. I don’t know. Everyone is relaxed. They are coming to watch matches. I’m going to the mall when I have time. It’s different.
Two weeks I haven’t been to the mall. I feel like a dog in his house (laughter).
Q. What is high on your shopping list?
SIMONA HALEP: Nothing special. But I will find something for sure.
Q. Who is with you here?
SIMONA HALEP: The boys. Teo, my trainer. My physio Andrei, and my sparring partner Vasile. Only these guys.
Q. In terms of the No. 1 ranking, now that you’re not having the No. 1 ranking, does it relax you at all? Does it have any impact?
SIMONA HALEP: No, is the same. I didn’t have the pressure before when I was No. 1. I handle it very well. So no, I don’t think. It’s the same thing.
Doesn’t matter the ranking in these point of the year. In the end, yeah, it matters.