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August 21, 2015

Elina Svitolina


E. SVITOLINA/L. Safarova
6‑4, 2‑6, 6‑0

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Knowing Lucie is a skilled doubles player as well as singles, did you change your preparation at all knowing that she has the doubles skills along with the singles?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, she plays well volleys, and so I was extremely focused when she was going forward.
So probably that was the only thing what I was thinking about. And, yeah, she's really comfortable from the baseline. That's why I was trying to be like extremely focused to stay into the rally and to change directions, as well.
You know, because not to stay too much cross, because after, she's just hitting too good.

Q. Is it any different for you playing a lefty?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, of course it's more tough because most of the players are right handed, so it's different.
You really need to adjust, and I did well today. I started well, and that's I think what brought me the confidence and the win today. I was really focused from the first point until the last one. Of course it was up and down, but it's never really from first through the last point so perfect. So I was expecting some mistakes. It happens.

Q. You say up and down, but six straight games there at the end. You ran away with that match. Not too bad. But what do you think happened in that third set to allow you to do that?
ELINA SVITOLINA: It was just trying to be focused from the first point. She did few unforced errors, and I was just fighting. I was trying to put each ball into the court and don't give her any opportunities to make winners.
Because if she starts hitting well, you know, it's really tough to play against. I was trying to get every ball. Doesn't matter how, but just put it over the net. I think the pressure was on her.
I was playing really and moving well, so, I mean, this was the key for the last set. So was really good. I didn't really think until it was 5‑0, because it was really tough games and she had some game points, break points, and I was just taking point by point. It was good.

Q. When you look at your game and then you look at the games of the other top players, the top 10 players, what do you think you do that's as good as them?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I don't know. Some people tell me that I play similar to Kim Clijsters, and I move well when I don't have injuries or some uncomfortable feelings in my body. So, yeah, I move well. I think I get many balls over the net, and that is putting the pressure on the opponent to hit one more ball. And, yeah, just I don't know.

Q. Movement and...
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, probably it's opponents should speak about my game, because I don't know how hard, you know, it is to play against myself. I try to watch videos of myself, but I just see only negatives most of the time. (Smiling.)
So, yeah, it's different to speak about my game.

Q. I understand you're from Odessa, right?

Q. Could you talk about growing up there and how you learned to play? I'm curious ‑‑I think there is a called there called Chornomorets.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah. No, it was not where I was growing up, but there is few with this name. There is two clubs with this name. One is more outside of the city and one is next to the sea.
So I was practicing with my brother and with my dad when I was small. From 6 to 12 I was in Odessa. I was hitting ‑‑there is no more courts where I was practicing in that time. There is now parking, so it's really sad.
When I go back to Odessa I have good memories. Because my family now it's a little bit ‑‑ my brother is in LA and my parents, you know, they are sometimes with him, sometimes with me, and sometimes they are like now at home.
So I always miss my family and miss my grandparents and just good memories when I go back there, and always sad to see that there is no more courts where I put, yeah, so many hours with my brother and improving my game.
So, yeah, it's a bit sad that there is no courts like...

Q. What part of Odessa is that? What district? What part?
ELINA SVITOLINA: It's close to the sea, to the beach, but it's close to the theater. I don't know if you know.

Q. The beautiful opera house?
ELINA SVITOLINA: No. I don't know how well you know the city. I don't know how to explain. It's close to the club, which one you said.

Q. When you look at the top of the game, at Serena, do you feel you ever try to keep up with her, with her muscles?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think she's also placing the ball well. Not even with the power. Of course she hits strong, but in the same time she plays the ball ‑‑ sometimes she's just placing the ball well and it's so deep.
So it's not only about the power I think, but of course she plays really sometimes really powerful serves and forehands and backhands. You need just to stay focused on the game and just watch the ball.

Q. How do you feel about having to play her tomorrow? What are your thoughts before that match?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah. I think first of all I hope I can still be playing the match when they will finish announcing her titles and achievements. (Smiling.) Just try to go out there and try my best. Like from the first round here I was just trying to focus on my game and on my serve. Improve my game is the most important thing for now.
If I have my game, if I'm playing confident, that's what I'm looking for. That's the way I want to play. So we will see how it goes. Of course you never know. It's a new day. New things are gonna happen.
So, yeah, it's gonna be good match.

Q. French Open quarterfinals and then, you know, obviously the last couple, few weeks have been very good for you, Stanford and then now here. That's a nice string of positive results. What's different? What do you think is making the difference for you right now?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, for now I try to put pressure just aside and try to focus on my game, to do things right, like serving well and playing some good tennis from the baseline.
Yeah, just playing from my experience probably, because I have got already a small bag of experience which I got for already like five years playing on the tour.
Yeah, just try to improve each day, practice. Of course not only stronger ‑‑not only strong things, but also, you know, the weakness.
Yeah, just important to give 100% each match and take positive things even when you lose.

Q. You're very athletic and acrobatic. Have you studied gymnastics or played other sports or something? You spend a lot of time jumping in the air. Where does that come from?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I don't know. Yeah, I was doing a lot of sports. When I was young I was, yeah, many sports. Gymnastics, as well. I don't know why. It's just something probably my thing, what I do.
I never really notice about it.

Q. Have you kept up with Serena's matches this week and have a sense of how she's been playing?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I saw few matches, but I was waiting ‑‑normally I'm focused normally on my matches and don't look ahead. Because, of course, I knew that she's in my half, but I was like, Come on, focus on your match and don't really think about being somewhere like in semis.
Of course she was serving well today. When there is a moment, she always has some good strokes. Just need to expect more everything and just go out there enjoy and be ready for everything.

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