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January 2, 2017

Elina Svitolina

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A very good performance. You have to be pleased with that. Is that your first match of the season?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah. It was tough, but I think it was both of us that was trying to put this in my head that for everyone is the same situation, and just trying to stay positive during all the match.

And then, yeah, everything was quite solid, I think, today and that's why I got a W.

Q. You made a number of changes during the offseason: new coach, you finished the season very strong with a good ranking. Do you feel like this season is a potentially big season for you in terms of what you're building for?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Try to don't put any pressure, any things in my head. I mean, yeah, I have changed the coach, but got to be the same work. I'm going to give 100% each day, and then we will see what happens.

Of course, there is some changes, but I think it should push me to go further and something fresh, something new.

Q. Can you talk through the change, you know, going from Iain to Gabi? Like, what was the reason why? How did you decide on what it would be?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, for a moment I work with two person, and I have them both in my team. Okay, not on this tournament, because Thierry is with Tsonga in Doha for the moment, and, like, today you saw Gabi was on the court with Mahut, because, yeah, he's working with him.

Q. He's still working with Nicolas?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah. Andy Bettles is taking care of everything, as well. So, you know, it's a teamwork and everything works pretty good for a moment. Just looking forward to next challenge. Yeah, I'm enjoying the team.

Q. What is the particular challenge of the first match of a year? How did you feel preparation-wise coming into today?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, there was a few changes with the string, and then last moment I needed to change again. It was kind of -- yeah, it was tricky. (Smiling.)

Well, it's always tricky for everyone, I guess. So I try to didn't put anything in my head, and then just go out there and see what happens.

And then if I have a chance, take the chance. Yeah, just go out there and see what happens. Just give my 100%, and then, yeah, I mean, today was solid performance, I think.

Q. What are you happiest with today? Monica is no pushover, whatsoever. What are you happy about what you did today on court?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think I stayed very solid on the baseline. I was serving good. I served well on the last game of the first set.

It was quite tough, because she was playing -- she was actually going back into the game and returning really well.

So I was really happy with the way I stayed on that moment and finished the first set, serve it out, and then actually good start in the second.

So, I mean, my game was quite solid. I didn't do so many unforced errors, which is good, because with couple of changes it can happen. Yeah, it was not bad match today.

Q. Can you look back on 2016? Obviously a great season for you. What do you take from that, experience-wise, or what did you learn that you take with you to 2017? And maybe what are some experiences that you're like, No, stay in 2016. Don't come with me in 2017?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, of course, there have been some bad matches in 2016, but also have been amazing wins. So for sure confidence is the first thing that comes to my mind, because the end of season was very strong, and, yeah, as my fitness coach says, that I need to take this confidence with me. I think this is right.

I mean, it was up and down, but end of season showed that I have the chances to play good tennis for couple of tournaments in a row. So, yeah, it's been good thing that I did it in the end of the season when I was actually pretty tired, and mentally, because I didn't reach my goals, and then I did this last push. It was a good sign.

Q. Have you talked with Gabi and your team about goals for this year?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, of course, but the goals didn't change, as I said. The last tournament in Zhuhai, the goal is to play Singapore, to finish top 10. But we will see. Like I said, there is no pressure or any goal or -- I mean, I will just give 100%, and then if it happen, it happens. Of course, first of all, is very important to be healthy.

Yeah, we will see.

Q. It's not often you get to walk out on a big stadium like that. It's quite full, especially for the first match of the day. What was that experience like for you? What do you like about playing in Brisbane?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, that's why I like to play in Brisbane. The crowd is big. Even outside courts, people are watching and they are so into tennis.

It's amazing that you have this straight on your first match. Yeah, it always gives you, like, that extra energy and that extra focus to play the match.

Q. You had a long season with going all the way to the end of Zhuhai. Did you get to do anything during the offseason at all? Did you do anything?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Actually, I was traveling a lot, because I went to Maldives, and then I came back to Ukraine a couple of days, which was really busy with the media. Well, didn't have time so much to stay home.

And then I went to Paris to see my friends, and also to Monaco to see other friends. I wanted to see everyone. But there was not enough time.

And then, of course, I was preparing for six weeks, I think.

Q. What is it about the Maldives? All of you go, it seems like. Is there like just a memo that goes around the locker room, you guys all go to the Maldives during the offseason?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, it's good we chose all different resorts and didn't meet each other, because we see each other pretty much all the year. (Laughter.)

I don't know. It's very beautiful place and not so far away from Europe. Well, from Moscow you can fly almost direct flight. And, for me, it was quite easy, because I finished in Zhuhai and went straight there.

It was easy, as well. It was, like, only six hours' flight. That's why. It was just easier.

But for sure next year I'm going to go somewhere different.

Q. I think Shelby Rogers next, the American. What do you know about her and what sort of challenges does that match offer for you?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I saw a couple of games yesterday. She played against Bouchard.

Well, she was serving really good. I'm expecting this from her.

Last time I played her, it was a tough match. It's going to be another challenge. I'm going to just try to focus on my game and just -- yeah. It's a new day. We'll see what it brings.

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