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March 23, 2018

Elina Svitolina

Miami, Florida


6-4, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Can you go through the match. There was a lot of hype of Naomi, the run she had in Indian Wells, beating Serena. Were you on your toes even more than usual? How did you see her compared to in the past?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I always knew that she can produce a great game. All the time we played, we played quite a bit now. I knew that I have to be always on my toes, have to be ready for her strong shots, for her strong serve.

Always knew that she can really play well, you know, take the game in her hands. I was just trying to don't give her any opportunities. I think I was playing pretty solid today, serving good. This was the key for today. Making it physical, as well.

Q. What are your memories of this site? How many times have you been here? What will you miss about the Key Biscayne site?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I played juniors probably once. I was out pretty early. I always had tough matches here. I remember a couple of times really was down and out, then coming back. I remember a couple of times had very, very tough matches. I think it was one of the first times when I went into fourth round in my biggest tournament. So I have lots of good memories here.

I think against Wozniacki also a couple years ago I played a great match, winning that one. So, yeah, it was a great tournament here. Definitely going to miss Key Biscayne, this tournament here.

But I think I'm excited, as well, for a new venue, what's going to be new. Yeah, it's just exciting I think, something different.

Q. About today's match, you were serving very good, but you were also returning really good, which doesn't happen that often playing against Osaka. Did you read her serve? What was the secret of returning that good today?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, in general, I'm pretty I can say good returner. I try to work on it really good. I played couple of times against her, so I knew little bit where I have to stand, what I have to do. It was just a matter of time when I can get used to it.

All the time, like in Dubai, different conditions to here. I have to adjust very quickly with my feet. Today was pretty good. I was on the ball almost all the time. Of course, she served some good serves, aces, because it's her game. She does it very good. That's why I had to accept sometimes and just move on.

In the end, I know I was on the ball most of the time, was seeing the ball pretty good today.

Q. Speaking of conditions, today was quite windy. How did you make that adjustment? Did you serve differently?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, of course, is the part of tennis. Adjust your game for different things. Every week we have different conditions little bit, different ball, different heat or cold or wind, something else. Always little adjustments.

You do with your team, you do with yourself, just thinking what you can do on that day, what's going to help you. It's just the matter of time who adjusts quicker and really takes the game on.

Yeah, I was just trying to move really quick around the ball, go for my shots. I think it worked really good. I was really calm, as well, today which helped me a lot.

Q. Normally a player in your position with your seeding, your ranking, your first match usually would not be such a difficult match. When you first saw the draw, you saw the two 'unseeded' players facing you were Serena Williams and Naomi, what went through your mind?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I was like, okay, this is going to be challenging. For a second round, normally you don't get those kind of matches. But they still had to play the match. You never know what's going to happen.

It was actually quite exciting. I like to go into the tournaments with little bit of stress. Then you're straight into the matches. Of course, not these kind of players. It was a little bit too much because, you know, just winning Indian Wells, she was pretty confident. Serena, obviously, we all know who she is, what she has behind her shoulders.

Yeah, it was challenging. I'm very happy the way I handled this match today and the way I was playing. So, yeah, I'm very, very happy about it.

Q. Do you think it helps you've had a higher-pressure match to start?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think it can be a benefit. It's still early to say. I have my third-round match on Sunday, so we'll see how it goes.

This is the experience that we get, so we'll see. Didn't have situations in the past where I can judge this situation. But definitely today, going to help me that I played some really under-pressure points. It show that, you know, I'm working the right way.

Q. Naomi described you as one of the most consistent players on the tour. You are still young. Seems like you learned quickly to be composed and consistent. What was your learning process to be consistent? How long did it take for you to learn this?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, it's tough to say how did I find this. All my career, growing up, always my family, my parents always been telling me that I have to take one step at a time, to don't rush the things, just go step by step everything. This is the key I think for me.

Even when I have tough times, I just try to break it down in small pieces, just take one step, then move forward, move forward again. I just don't put so much pressure on myself. It's life, and it's the process of learning, as well. Every week you have a chance to play well.

I think I just have to, you know -- yeah, it's just a process of everything together.

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