I've achieved my dreams, says relaxed Halep
Simona Halep is approaching the US Open in a relaxed frame of mind after achieving both of her tennis dreams.
The world number one ended her wait for a grand slam title at the French Open earlier this year, with a first major honour a long-term aim for Halep, treasured alongside her place at the top of the rankings.
And having ticked off those two targets, the Romanian is allowing herself to enjoy the trip to Flushing Meadows.
"Inside myself, something changed. I'm more relaxed," Halep said. "I feel thankful for everything I've achieved.
"These two were my dreams: to be number one in the world and to win a grand slam.
"I always say [that if you are] number in the world without a grand slam, you're not a real number one. After the French Open, I really started to believe that I'm a real number one."
Sloane Stephens has similarly seen a change since winning last year's US Open, although her victory has had the opposite effect, adding more pressure.
"An American winning the US Open is pretty big," the world number three said.
"There's definitely a lot of things to do in terms of media commitments, a lot less down days for myself, but that comes with the territory.
"I think I handled it the best that I could. I've just made the most of it, tried to keep my tennis first. That's really all you can do."