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June 5, 2017

Elina Svitolina

Paris, France


4-6, 6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English. 2-5, Love-30 down in the final set. How on earth did you come back from that?

ELINA SVITOLINA: I don't know (smiling). Yeah, it was tough match. She was playing actually extremely well. Yeah, towards the end and even then I just said, Okay, you know what? I'm going to just put the ball in. I'm going to be aggressive. I'm going to be just win the match, make winners.

I think it's really -- I really found the way. I changed some things the way I played. Maybe it was a little bit too late to change, but I did it and I think it gave me this -- yeah, it brought me to win the match.

Q. Start of the match, do you think the emotions or the stakes out there got back to you a little bit? Was it pressure? Was it just a bad day sort of thing?
ELINA SVITOLINA: No, it was injury that didn't let me start very well. I was struggling a bit.

Q. Is that still a similar problem that you also had in the finals of Rome? All seemed to be lower back going into the thigh. Or was that something different that crept up today or the past few days maybe?
ELINA SVITOLINA: No, it's completely different. It's so strange, because, yeah, I was feeling fine, perfectly well today, and then 20 minutes -- no, 30 minutes before the match, I was just chilling. Then stood up and I felt like I had black in my eyes. Yeah, it was so much pain, shooting pain into my back. And I didn't even warm up properly today. That's why it was a big panic with what's going on.

And then I forgot how to win, how to play (smiling). That's why I was a bit struggling, and it's really -- yeah, I was not into the match 100%.

Q. Talking about that third set and trying to hit more winners and be more aggressive and turn that around, can you talk a little bit about just how the offensive side of your game has changed and your willingness to do that a little bit more? Seems in the last 12 months you have backed yourself a little bit more through those shots in a lot big matches.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I tried to change some things. You know, I was aggressive. I was playing well.

But I start missing, so I was doing lots of unforced errors. Today, for example, she was just -- yeah, I was missing probably some balls where normally I don't miss. And then when I was 2-5 down, I think I just, you know, I had like mode on again, Svitolina mode back. I start playing, I start waiting for the right ball. I was really fighting for, to earn myself opportunity to hit a winner.

So I think that's what changed. Yeah, it brought me to win. And of course, you know, just said that I'm not gonna lose this match. You know, if she plays on this Love-30 two perfect winners, then congrats and well done.

Being a top-10 player, I worked a lot how to play under pressure. I think it really helped me today.

Q. What has Thierry Ascione brought to your team and your game, do you think?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, there is lots of things that he fixed my team. I think it just came all together in one, yeah, in one piece. Yeah, it's been going good. Of course there is up and down, but that's -- the most important is how you recover from down times. I think of course there will be bad times, but for a moment everything goes well, and, yeah, he's doing a good job off court/on court.

I feel very comfortable with him and with all the team. For the moment we have like proper, yeah, strong team.

Q. How is your back feeling now? How much of a concern is it for your next match?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I did the treatment already, and really hot shower really helped a lot. It was like 20 minutes. It really help. Yeah, luckily I have day off tomorrow, so I'm going to have a treatment. I'm going to have a proper rest.

Yeah, we'll see. You know, it's a new day. You never know what's gonna happen. Like today I woke up, was feeling great. Like first time like in months I'm feeling really motivated and perfectly, and then this happen. You never know what's gonna happen. Life is very tricky thing. Yeah, it happens sometimes.

It's gonna be a new day and we'll see how it goes.

Q. I know you said it's something that just shot into your back basically 30 minutes before the match. How did the 30 minutes between the moment when you felt that pain and the start of the match look? Did you try to find a physio to figure it out as soon as possible? Did you panic? What was the roller coaster in that half an hour?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, it was really a big mess, because, yeah, my physio was, like, shocked, like what happened? I just explained everything.

And then I couldn't -- yeah, I couldn't believe that this happened. Because normally I don't have this kind of pain, okay? Sometimes when I play long match, and then I have some soreness, but this one was very strange and very, yeah, very different for me.

And that's why, of course, it was a panic, and that's why when I went on court everything was a bit rushed and not like I used to play in normal situation. I didn't find myself very comfortable. Yeah, it was -- it's experience and I needed to do something about it, and I think it happened how it happened.

Q. What's your opinion about Simona Halep? I'm asking this including the fact that you had that final in Rome and she had that ankle injury.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, as I said, these injuries are coming sometimes. It was a tough final for both of us, because I also had injury. For me was also very tough. I was a bit struggling.

It was a good match. I took lots of positive things, and I think I can have the plan how to play and we'll see how it goes.

Q. Entering today after yesterday's results, none of the women remaining have won yet a Grand Slam title, including yourself. Do you see that as a particularly big opportunity for you? How much do you pay attention to who else is left as opposed to just your next opponent?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, of course, I think everyone knows who's remain in the draw. Yeah, everyone is trying their best to get the title, because it's a big opportunity. But, you know, in the same time there is so many good players. Lots of tough matches. I have my next match very tough. Simona is very confident, and she plays very good on clay. Played the final here, so she knows how to win the matches and know how it feels.

So also Pliskova, she's been in final of a Grand Slam, so there is lots of good players. You know, the tournament, we are still in quarterfinals, so it's close but still very far from a title.

So it's gonna be, yeah, tough. I will just try to focus my next match. I don't really look that far ahead and always try to keep match by match.

Q. Before you said you turn on Svitolina mode. What exactly is Svitolina mode? I don't think I have heard that from you before.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I heard that after 2-5 I missed only four points, so probably this is Svitolina mode.

But, yeah, I just try to find myself into this zone where I don't do much unforced errors and still play aggressive, you know. This balance that what really I improved a lot since the beginning of this year, and sometimes of course there will be a struggle in my game. But, you know, I tried to find this -- yeah, the thing where I feel comfortable and very confident with my game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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