MELBOURNE, Australia – Romania’s world number one Simona Halep said on Saturday she is more relaxed as she prepares to challenge for the Australian Open after winning her first Grand Slam of her career last year.
The 27-year-old won the 2018 French Open having lost in three previous Grand Slam finals, including the 2018 Australian Open.
“It’s a big difference inside myself because I did what I wanted to do,” she told a press conference after being asked if she felt any difference ahead of her Australian Open campaign. “I won a grand slam finally, and now I can say I’m a real number one.”
Halep, who is preparing for the tournament with no coach after parting ways with trainer Darren Cahill, said she did not want to rush into a new coaching appointment too soon.
“It’s tough to change the person I’m working with every day,” she said. “I wanted to feel that I’m ready to take another challenge, because every time you commit to someone in your team you have to give 100 percent.”
Halep faces Estonian Kaia Kanepi in the first round of the Australian Open.
Their last meeting in the first round of last year’s US Open, ended in a straight sets defeat for the Romanian.