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May 13, 2018

Elina Svitolina

Rome, Italy


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Elina, tell me what are the most vivid memories you get coming back here after last year? Is it the moment you got your hand on the trophy, match point, what memories?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Definitely all the tournament was really memorable. We played some tough matches from the first rounds. And then definitely, you know, beating Pliskova in such I think tiebreaker in the second set, which was big.

You know, it was a great week, in general. Gave me lots of confidence going to Roland Garros. And, you know, I have great memories here. Eating pizza, definitely, after the final (laughing).

Q. Does it feel normal defending tournaments now?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I had the same situation in Dubai. This tournament definitely, you know, bigger. And it's going to be different.

I try to take one match at a time, which is very important for me. Really focus what I have to do on court and be ready physically. That's the goal for this week.

Q. Elina, in terms of just the physicality and making sure you are ready for Paris and everything, how do you balance that? Because, obviously, you are fighting for match wins and to get momentum, as well, while also trying to protect your body. What are you telling yourself this week?
ELINA SVITOLINA: For me, being healthy has definitely always has been priority No. 1.

Of course, if you are playing lots of matches, you get lots of confidence.

But, you know, I think I'm trying to have the confidence for each match. Doesn't matter on my previous results.

And I feel good on court. That's what matters the most.

And, of course, as I said, health for me is always -- will be the priority because, if I'm not healthy, you know, I cannot play even, you know, like 50 or 60% what I can do.

So, yeah, that's definitely always will be priority for me.

Q. I'm wondering, if Serena returns for Roland Garros or Wimbledon, in addition to her protected ranking, should she get a protective seeding as well?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think I already spoke little bit about it with few people.

And for me, I think if you're like finished or you stopped because you're gonna have a child and you will be in Top 8, I think you should have this kind of thing, to have protected seeding. And especially, you know, if you're having a baby, it's different.

And I think, you know, she should have because she finished and she was No. 1. So she deserves seeding.

Q. Last year you started out beautifully against Simona on clay here in the final. Then you went to Roland Garros. Again, it was a close match. How would you expect the next matches on clay?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Going to cross the bridge when it happens, first of all.

Yeah, we had great matches in the past. In Singapore, good match as well. In Toronto. So, you know, we played a couple times.

This one here was really tough. Roland Garros, as well.

So, yeah, lots of tough matches against her. So, yeah, we'll see how it goes next time.

Q. What do you make of the clay season so far, in terms of Bertens winning in Charleston and Petra winning in Madrid and Pliskova winning in Stuttgart and the players that are getting pretty deep in the semifinals of each tournament? Are you surprised by the results we've seen up until this tournament?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I don't know. I didn't really think much about it.

You know, the players who are prepared the best, showing the best results. And that's always gonna happen.

Sometimes on clay, you know, few matches you get unlucky. But most of the time, if you are ready to play, you are consistent, you are going to show consistent results.

You know, Pliskova, she's playing great tennis now. You know, there's no doubt about that at all. She won this year, well deserved.

And it's amazing what she does. Coming back to play, as well. You know, it's something really strong from going -- coming from inside. So, yeah, it's amazing.

And, you know, speaking about the clay court season, I think for me, yeah, just try to take one match at a time. To don't rush the things, you don't have high expectations. Because I don't need this kind of pressure, you know.

I know that I can play well. I just need time to be ready for -- yeah, time to be ready to show the game I want to.

Q. What do you think can be key to the next step in your career? What do you think you're missing to be winning tournaments?
ELINA SVITOLINA: You know, I'm also trying to find what I have to improve, what I have to do differently. I think we are all working on it with my team, with my coaches.

And I think this is just little bit of everything.

You know, I have a good game. I like the way I'm playing. And I think it brings me a lot of matches and tournaments, as well.

But I have to, you know, to find those small details which gonna make a big difference. And that's what I'm working with my team, you know, to improve and to move forward. That's the most important for me, you know.

Of course, stay mentally strong, positive because the matches -- For example like last week, you know, I played good tennis but I still didn't win. You know, it can damage your confidence.

But, you know, I just try to work, to go back on court and work every day and give myself a good chance to play well in the next challenge, next tournament.

Q. Do you have a personal preference between clay and hard courts?

Q. Do you have a personal preference between clay and hard courts?
ELINA SVITOLINA: No, I don't have the preference. I like to play on clay. I like to play on hard courts. I won tournaments on both surfaces.

And for me, you know, there's no -- there shouldn't be any preference. I like to take time to go back on surface that I'm playing, next tournament.

So, yeah, it's important to have good preparation before each transition to the new surface.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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