Halep: Tennis is 'more interesting' without a dominant Serena
Women's tennis is "more interesting" without a dominant Serena Williams, according to world number one Simona Halep.
Williams, a 23-time grand slam champion, is making her return to the WTA Tour at Indian Wells this week after more than a year out of action as she gave birth to her daughter in September.
Halep is intrigued to see how the 36-year-old fares in California, although she does not foresee a return to the days when Williams would be the huge favourite for every tournament.
"Many players are coming back and are hungry," Halep said.
"I am curious to see Serena play. Now that she is not dominating, women's tennis is more interesting."
Despite her status at the top of the rankings, Halep is yet to win a grand slam - losing in the Australian Open final earlier this year - and she says that must now be her priority.
"I expect more of myself," she said. "It is normal to be up and down, but I am not thinking about rankings. I am trying to win titles.
"I am always looking for perfection, but I have to be kind to myself. I still want to be a fighter and be furious on the court, but when I hit the ball I have to be calm."
Las Vegas baby pic.twitter.com/i8wyyU5opN-- Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) March 3, 2018
Halep begins her Indian Wells campaign against Kristyna Pliskova on Friday.