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February 14, 2018

Elina Svitolina

Doha, Qatar

E. SVITOLINA/M. Vondrousova

6-2, 6-4

Q. How did it feel out there? It looked like you were moving quite well around the court. And then also just thoughts on her game. She's a talented young player coming up.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I was feeling fine. Yeah, she's talented, as you know, as you mentioned. And I didn't know much about her going into the match because, yeah, she didn't play so many matches on the big tournaments. So that's why it was a bit tricky, and she's a bit tricky player. Left hand is a bit uncomfortable, but I was really happy with the way I handled the situation. Yeah, just, you know, solid ^ performance for the first round.

Q. Have you been feeling like good on the practice courts with the conditions and everything here? And I know that when the temperature cools, I don't know if you've practiced in the evening, but everything kind of changes. Do you prefer the day conditions or do you prefer like more evening?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I don't want to say really. You know, I didn't play in the evening. Maybe for the next match because it is going to be quite --

Q. A big one.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, a big one. So yeah, maybe for the next match, yeah, I'm going to tell you, but now it's not to say. Yeah, it changes, definitely. I know this from years before. So yeah, we'll see this time.

Q. Speaking of the next match, we don't know who you're playing, but it's either Aga or Petra. So thoughts. Two very, very different opponents, and do you prefer matches where -- you know, against players like a Radwanska where you can kind of -- both of you are rallying and kind of sorting each other out or do you prefer the challenge of dismantling a big hitter?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Actually, both of them because I want to see where I am with my level. I want to see what I improved from the years before because both of them I played quite a long time ago and now I'm a completely different player. I play differently. I'm more confident with my game. So it's very interesting for me to see both of them because I lost to both of them before, and yeah, it will be a good chance for me to really see what I have to, yeah, what I improved and see what I have to do more.

Q. What's the particular challenge against each one for you?
ELINA SVITOLINA: For Radwanska, of course, you know, they are going to be long rallies. I will have to, yeah, to stay really calm and clear with my plan. And kind of the same for Petra, you know. I don't really think much about their game, because of course, I need to be 100 percent with my game because if I am not, then, you know, it's tough against such players like that with experience they have behind their shoulders. So yeah, it's going to be important to, of course, to be really 100 percent physically and mentally fresh and ready.

Q. You're up to No. 3 now. Some players it takes them a little bit of time for their mind to catch up to their ranking. At this point you've been in the Top 5 for a while. Do you feel like rankings wise and games wise, everything, that that's where you belong, you know, you're used to it? I don't know.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, you know, the ranking is just a number that confirms that you are doing something well for the last year, for the last, I don't know, one-and-a-half year. So of course, it brings me confidence, first of all, because I had a great year 2017. I didn't finish where I wanted to finish, but anyway, no, I took so much good stuff from 2017, learned a lot. And hopefully this year is going to be even more. I have bigger goals, and yeah, just try to work on everything for a little bit more, and yeah, just move forward, just one step at a time. And how it's been one step at a time all the way.

Q. And the last question, it's Valentine's Day. What's it like celebrating -- or spending Valentine's Day away from home?
ELINA SVITOLINA: It's fine. I try to don't really put this thing in my head, and yeah. Of course, I see lots of posts. Everyone is posting the picture of their better half. But yeah, it's -- it's fine. I'm with my second love, with tennis, with my tennis racquet, with my -- yeah, with tennis balls. So yeah, this is my love, my second love. (Laughs).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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