Beijing, Sep 28 : Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep said she will play the China Open after retiring from recent Wuhan Open due to a back problem, also expressing her motivation to play and win matches here on Saturday.
Seeded sixth this year in Beijing, Halep said she felt OK about her back that forced her to withdraw from the Wuhan Open on Wednesday.
"The back is better. I had two days off and today I practiced. In my opinion, I can play tomorrow. I will try and do my best," the Romanian pointed out.
Halep, who celebrated her 28th birthday on Friday, said, "This year I celebrated my birthday here. It's very special. It's a good week for me, even though I was a little bit injured. I feel motivated to play and win matches."
"Every year it's nice to come back here. It's a big tournament, and very important to everybody. The atmosphere is very intense, and you can see that everyone is focused on their job," she added.
Halep will take on a qualifier in the first round. The reigning Wimbledon champion and former world No 1 noted that she felt no pressure about being atop the world ranking.
"I never feel pressure when I've been No 1. My coach told me that many players are struggling when they are No. 1. They feel the pressure more. I enjoy it and embrace it," she said.
"Now in this moment, it's not the most important thing to be No. 1 of the world. After finishing two years as world No 1, my goal is to win Grand Slams and also tournament titles," she commented.(XINHUA)