Simona Halep will remain without a coach for start of 2019 season

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Simona Halep doesn't plan to get a new coach during the first portion of the season, saying she wants to play with less pressure following her Grand Slam breakthrough.

"For the next three to four months, I don't want to take [a] coach," Halep told the WTA website, speaking at this week's WTA event in Sydney.

"Actually, it's tough a little bit, but I feel confident that I can do my own things on court. I'm more responsible now on everything that I have to do. Maybe it's a good thing, I will see."

Halep's coach, Darren Cahill, announced in the offseason that he wanted to take some time off tour to stay with his family. Halep said they are still in contact.

"We talk most of the days. I asked for advice and he gave it to me. We talked during the offseason as well. It's not the same of course, because he's not my coach anymore. But we are great friends and that is the most important," she said.

Halep is receiving some help from her Fed Cup captain, but emphasizes that is not equivalent to being her coach.

The 27-year-old is returning following a season where she won her first Grand Slam at the French Open, got back to the No. 1 ranking and reached the final of the Australian Open. Though Halep finished the season with back problems, she says she hasn't been having problems during training.

Having had such success on court, Halep allowed herself some extra fun and socializing during the break. She notes that now, "I feel more relaxed and enjoy other things as well."

She wants to approach the beginning of the season in the same way, having experienced a lot of wear and tear during her climb to the top.

"So I need to be chilled for a few months, a few weeks," she said. "I had enough pressure, I had enough tension during these years. Now I feel like I don't want to commit to anyone because when you take a coach you have to commit to that person and you want to do the best for him and the team."

Halep is the top seed at Sydney.


ATP/WTA Sydney (1/5 to 1/12)
• Stefanos Tsitsipas, Frances Tiafoe, Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens headline Sydney International. Watch live coverage on Tennis Channel Plus.

WTA Hobart (1/5 to 1/11)
• Watch the action from the Hobart International featuring Caroline Garcia, Belinda Bencic and Maria Sakkari.

ATP Auckland (1/6 to 1/11)
• See John Isner, Fabio Fognini and Denis Shapovalov live on Tennis Channel PLUS beginning Monday, Jan. 7 at 6:00 pm ET.

FAST 4—Sydney (1/7)
• The game’s best compete in the always entertaining Fast4 format, with appearances by Nick Kyrgios, Grigor Dimitrov, and Milos Raonic. Live coverage begins on Monday, Jan. 7 at 3:30pm ET.

World Tennis Challenge—Adelaide (1/7 to 1/9)
• Watch Borna Coric, CoCo Vandeweghe, Alexander Zverev and Victoria Azarenka live from Adelaide starting Monday, Jan. 7 at 3:00 am ET.

AO Qualifying Rounds (1/8 to 1/11)
• Australian Open officially begins with qualifying action. Tennis Channel PLUS has fall the action live! Coverage begins Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 6:00 pm ET.

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