INDIAN WELLS: World No. 1 Simona Halep said it has taken some time, but she is finally starting to learn to accept the good with the bad.
"I am looking for perfection but I also know it doesn't exist," the 26-year-old Romanian said as she prepares to play her first match at the WTA Indian Wells tournament.
"I have had to learn and to understand that sometimes I can't be always be at my best."
Case in point is an injury-plagued start to the 2018 season.
"Everytime I lose a final I am disappointed," said Halep, who won the Indian Wells title in 2015. "My expectations are high. I expect more from myself."
Halep was defeated in a memorable and gruelling three-set final by Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open in January.
Halep said on Wednesday she can always find positives, even in a defeat like Melbourne where she was left in tears at losing the chance of her first Grand Slam title. She also lost in the 2017 French Open final.
More recently a lingering foot injury forced her out of the Tour since that Aussie Open final.
Halep is feeling refreshed and confident after reclaiming the world number one ranking last month from Wozniacki.
She says she is not concerned about the injury flaring up again ahead of her first Indian Wells match against either Duan Yingying of China or Czech Kristyna Pliskova.
"I am close to my best level. I feel good and am happy on the court," she said.
She said becoming No. 1 in the world allowed her to achieve one of her lifelong goals.
"I learned that I am able to do great things and once I did it it was a relief," she said. "It gave me the power to go on and do more great things."