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Simona Halep not feeling pressure ahead of Australian Open

Simona Halep insists she is not feeling any pressure ahead of the start of the Australian Open.

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World number three Simona Halep is adamant that she heads into the Australian Open in confident mood and is not feeling any pressure after an impressive 2014 season.

Halep reached the final of the French Open and the last four of Wimbledon last year, and approaches the first grand slam of 2015 as one of the favourites.

The Romanian reached the quarter-finals in Melbourne in 2014 but, despite her rapid rise, Halep does not believe she is burdened by any extra weight of expectation.

"I'm not surprised that I had big results last year because two years ago I just started to win some titles," Halep said.

"I had more experience than before. I was improving a lot in my game. I'm much stronger now than before. My game is complete now [and] I believe in my game.

"I can say now I feel no pressure. I have just to play my game and to see how many matches I can win.

"I have no pressure."

Halep starts her campaign against Italy's Karin Knapp and is in the same half of the draw as Maria Sharapova and Eugenie Bouchard.

Sharapova beat Halep at Roland Garros while Eugenie Bouchard ended her run at Wimbledon before losing to Petra Kvitova in the final.

And Halep thinks the tournament is wide open for any of the top-20 women to win.

"I was thinking a few days ago that even if I am third in the rankings, I have my chance, but is not like I [will] be in the semi-finals or in the finals," Halep added.

"Everyone from top 20 I can say has their own chance to win this title. The tournament is open for everyone."

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