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May 21, 2017

Elina Svitolina

Rome, Italy


4-6, 7-5, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Just a short time ago you said my main goal may be top 10. Now?
ELINA SVITOLINA: It's been Singapore, to finish the year in Singapore and still, you know, the year is still young. I still need to play lots of matches and lots of tournaments.

Hopefully I can stay the same or maybe go even higher.

Q. I just want to ask about injuries, because you both were visited by the trainer during the match. She rolled her ankle I think in the first set and you had the trainer out in the second set. What was going on with you? How much do you think on either side it might have affected the match?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Of course we have been struggling a little bit on clay courts. You know, it does a job, it's damage the body, especially for the players who move a lot like Simona, and I move, as well, and run side to side and some weird things (smiling).

So, yeah, I kind of expect it, especially for her because she won the first tournament, she won Madrid, and then coming here and then playing some really good matches and good tennis. I saw she was really like playing and moving really good.

It was kind of expected that she would be tired. So I was trying to stay there, you know, to put the pressure and to be there in the right moment, yeah, to be ready, at least to give myself a chance to come back in the second set.

I think it worked really good, because I really handled, yeah, the pressure. Because she was still -- I mean, she moved okay in the second set, but I needed to put pressure and to show her that I'm there and I want to win so badly. Yeah, I think it worked okay.

Q. In the first set, Andy came down and talked to you. It sounded like he was, like, You need to hit more, you need to hit bigger, not let Simona dictate as much. Seemed in the next game you were doing exactly that. You were trying to lean into your forehand more and be more aggressive. How important was just hearing that in the first set to remind you of what you needed to do against her today?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I needed to be patient, first of all, because she gets lots of balls back, makes you miss, like, some easy shots when you're under pressure. So this is her game. She really dominates sometimes very, like, playing very strong. Then I needed to be patient and waiting for my opportunity and then do something with it.

So this was the goal. In the first set I was a bit struggling. As I said, I hurt my groin couple days ago and was struggling, as well. Yeah, it's good that I recover a bit quicker and had my physio here.

So it helped a lot. But, yeah, it was nice to hear that. Actually, I didn't play so bad in the first set. Just one, two balls that in the end changed the set. But I was trying to get back into the game.

I think he also thought that I was nervous, but actually, I was not nervous. I was just missing (smiling). I was doing lots of unforced errors.

Yeah. I think it's nice that we have coach on court.

Q. Best day in your career?

Q. Yeah.
ELINA SVITOLINA: One of. I had Dubai tournament. Very tough, as well, because there was something very different, like very special because I was reaching the first time in my life top 10, winning that title. Also first time the biggest title of my career.

So probably that one was one of my best days. And also, Olympics, for me, was best day. Okay. I can put them in top three maybe (smiling).

Q. Just wondering who you think is the French Open favorite right now on the women's side.
ELINA SVITOLINA: That's a tricky question, or...

Q. The oddsmakers say it's Halep. Halep said it's 15 different players. She can't pick anybody. What do you think? Talk about the state of the women's field right now. Everything seems equal, fairly unpredictable. What do you think?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I cannot name some players. Of course there are so many players that can play really good. As I said yesterday, no, it's gonna matter the conditions of the court, because, yeah, if the courts are gonna be underwater for a couple of days and raining and stuff, so it's gonna be advantage for people who are smacking the ball so hard.

So hopefully the courts will be dry, and we will have more opportunities for players, for clay-court players who moves and who, you know -- yeah, who play clay court again. So in the end, there is so many factors that can -- it's a Grand Slam. There is so much pressure. Everyone is so hungry to win each match and, you know, like gives everything.

So there is -- I don't know. There is no one I can name as a favorite.

Q. You have had a lot of great results on the tour-level events this year. Will it be different trying to translate that to a Grand Slam? How easy or difficult that is to bring this quality to that level?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I will try to do it, because I have been working with my coach. We was just speaking about it, about preparation that I can do, you know, to prepare differently for a Grand Slam.

Of course during the season, play less tournaments because now I'm almost each week playing, like, lots of matches. Also, because it also damage sometimes your mental part and your physical part in a Grand Slam, when you need to be there, like, 100%. Yeah, just takes time for me.

Yeah, I know that I was not doing something right, but I will try to think about it. I have my coach who is there for me always, tries to help me, tries to give me something that gonna help me in this situation.

Q. How are the next couple of days going to look for you? Going to put the racquet aside for two, three days? Just relax and recharge the batteries? When are you going to go to Paris to prepare for Roland Garros?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I will have two days off, finally (smiling).

Yeah, after the end of the tournament, it's always like a big relief that the tournament is finished and even bigger relief when you win. Yeah, I will train on Wednesday. Yeah, so all my team, they was begging me to go back home, because they are tired, as well.

So I'm going to Paris. I'm going to enjoy a couple of days with my friends. Yeah, just chill and recover properly and be ready for first match in Paris.

Q. In the semifinals your opponent retired, and in this match your opponent was injured. What do you say to people who think you have been a little bit lucky?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I consider myself as a lucky person overall. Not only because of this, but, you know, I needed to be there today. I needed to put something on the court today.

I mean, I cannot say that I didn't deserve to win the tournament, because I work every day, every single day, and everyone does. Everyone does, and they are waiting for the moment to be there.

You know, that's the thing. Every single day, everyone is working very hard. Yeah, every player. They are waiting for these kind of moments when there is a right moment and the right day.

So, yeah, I think I can be proud of myself for handling the pressure, because I played some tough matches here. Yeah, of course I have been a little bit lucky, but today I needed to show that I am there and I want to win and I'm ready to do it.

Q. You like to become Klitschko in the family of tennis in future? And the meaning of your tattoos.
A. Yeah, hopefully one day I will be on the same level of Klitschko brothers in Ukraine, but I'm still very far from it, because one is now the mayor of Kiev, so everyone sees him and he gets lots of bad comments, as well. I'm not sure I want to go this way, down this road (smiling).

But, yeah, it's something very special for me to meet the people who are coming from Ukraine and did something for our country, like something very special and was representing the country. Because lots of athletes actually from Ukraine, they changed the passport to Russian, to Kazakhstan, to different countries, because they don't want to suffer or they don't have money or something.

So I'm very proud that some athletes are still representing Ukraine, because I know what they are going through, that they don't have opportunities to train in good facilities.

So, yeah, for me to be one of the athletes like this, yeah, it's something very, very big for Ukraine. I'm very proud to be Ukrainian and represent my country.

And about my tattoos, one is Hindi sign, is Ohm. And the other one is Carpe Diem. Unfortunately it's decided to leave my body. It's fading away a little bit. It means seize the day. Yeah.

Q. You just won your second Premier 5 tournament. Can you compare the two experiences, winning here and in Dubai?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, it was, as I said, it was two different occasions. It was two big tournaments.

This one was more about trying to go for it, like, staying in the moment and staying positive with my game.

But in Dubai was completely different. I was in hell, I can tell you this, because when they announce that just before the match that I'm going to reach a top 10 for me was -- you know, I was, like, I know, I know on this already. It was something very special.

But, yeah, this tournament means a lot, as well, for my confidence on clay court.

Q. Are you taking a chance to go back to Odessa for two or three days off, or...
ELINA SVITOLINA: No, no, no. I go to my hometown only a couple of times a year. Actually, before Madrid I have been there. It was not planned. But, yeah, I went there to see my family, see my grandmother. Yeah.

Q. Second big trophy of the year, very big trophy. We are heading into a Slam, and some of the most known players of WTA are not on court. Do you feel like the media interest has many more eyes looking at you? How are you dealing with this?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, it's good that media is more focused on the other players, because, I mean, there is so many good players and so many players that are in top 5, top 10 for so many years.

I think, like, it should be. I don't think that we should really focus on one, two, three players. They should be like big something -- bigger than this. Because when you are top 10 or when you're top 20, you are still doing pretty good.

So, I mean, I think people should have more attention and especially like, yeah, from media. Me, I don't really think about it. It's the part of the job, is the part of being high in the ranking, and this is what I'm working for, being higher, and this is the part of tennis. Yeah, I enjoy it.

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