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May 30, 2018

Elina Svitolina

Paris, France


6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. In Rome you talked about how the atmosphere at a Grand Slam and everything is different. How do you feel like your adjusting to it so far through two matches?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I think I'm doing good, handling the pressure of early rounds. Pretty solid.

And I'm very happy the way, yeah, I'm playing so far, handling the tough moments. So, you know, hopefully I can continue this way.

Q. Kuzmova broke back to 3-All. How did you stay focused to come through the match in two sets?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, you know, she was playing really aggressive and, you know, not dropping her level, which was, you know, I think for young girl as her is really, really good level.

So, you know, I was just trying to be really solid, really good with my level, you know, to don't have some lows after I lost. Because I didn't serve that bad, I think. You know, but she really was returning well and all the credit is to her.

But in the end, you know, I'm very happy I could break back and then, you know, finish the match in two sets.

Q. Most of us travel to the same tournaments every year and everything and, when you get to a place, usually there's one thing you like doing in that city, whether it's a restaurant or it's a street you like walking by or anything. Do you have anything here in Paris that you are always sure to do every year you're here?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I come to Paris very often for training as well, so I always -- I have few places and restaurants that I'm going.

I like -- I really like Versailles. I really, you know, like walking around the park and just like to stay there for couple days when I have my time, my time off. So, you know, it's very beautiful. In Paris, you know, I really enjoy Montmartre as well. Now it's a bit crowded.

But, yeah, I enjoy just sightseeing.

Q. After your win in Rome, the Ukrainian president congratulated you on your win. He said he's a big fan of yours and always follows you.

Q. The Ukrainian president.

Q. He says he's a big fan of yours and follows your results. How proud are you to represent the Ukraine throughout the world and has he replied to your invitation to watch you here at Roland Garros?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, you know, it's very nice of him that he follows the sport. I know he likes tennis, so it's something really nice.

And hopefully, you know, we going to have not only now attention but also maybe someone could invest some money into Ukrainian tennis for our juniors, for our upcoming generation. You know, I know that our federation is also working really hard to build the center where juniors and the small girls and boys can train.

So, you know, it's very nice that he pays the attention.

And definitely representing the Ukraine and doing something for my country is very, very special. When I was growing up, it was definitely my dream to do that in front of so many people. And, you know, I'm very proud that I'm Ukrainian and I represent the country like this.

Q. You're only 23 years old. You've got loads of tennis ahead of you, but you're entitled to a social life as well if you want. How do you keep that separate?
ELINA SVITOLINA: It is the part of life now, you know, social media is quite a big thing. And, you know, it's the part of tennis -- it's the part -- in one way I like it. In the other way -- in one way, I like it that I can share with my fans what I do, you know, how I achieve.

For Ukrainian people as well back at home, they can follow me. They can see my training, you know, because I'm not spending so much time in Ukraine. You know, they can really see how it is to be professional tennis player.

And in the other side, of course, you know, I don't like it so much because there is also lots of negative stuff, lots of criticism, which is, you know, there's lots of people that, you know, they sometimes don't even know who you are, and then tell you, you know, what you have to do.

So there is two ways. But, you know, I don't really look on that black side anymore.

Q. I saw you on Instagram you were watching the Champions league final hosted in Ukraine, and I know Andy your coach as well is a Liverpool fan. So what was your reaction to that? And then what did you think of Serena's cat suit?
ELINA SVITOLINA: The first one is, yeah, I was watching. I love football. I always watch big matches. Not only big matches, but, you know, football in general. I try to follow Champions league. And, you know, since I'm spending lots of time in England, it's quite big, so it's good to be in the loop, what's going on.

And, yeah, I didn't really support anyone. I was just, you know, watching. And I was really sad for Salah that he got very badly injured and, yeah, it was very sad.

But Serena's cat suit, it was -- you know, I saw the photos that she was wearing years and years ago the other one. So it's, you know, it's nice, and I think it's a strong message from her. I read a little bit about the story behind it. So, you know, it's really something special, and I think it's nice to see her back, nice to see her winning again.

And hopefully, you know, I can play with her because, for me, it's something, you know, that I want to do. I want to play against Maria. I want to play against Serena, against Victoria, such great champions.

And, you know, we are training for those kind of moments, for those kind of matches, to play on the big stage in front of lots of people. So, you know, I want to challenge myself against those players.

Q. You've had a lucky mascot with you since you were a young child, your toy Bobik?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah. How do you know this information?

Q. Has he traveled with you to Roland Garros and are you hoping that he will bring you good luck?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, he's always with me. Doesn't matter where I am in the world. So, yeah, he's here as well with me in my room, yeah.

He brings me luck definitely. You know, I'm four in the world, so I'm not doing so bad so far with him.

Q. And he's with you for the journey all the time?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, he's always with me, always.

Q. Your coach told me that Kuzmova should be top 20 with her shots. Do you have the same opinion about her potential and was it an easy match for you today?
ELINA SVITOLINA: You know, it was solid match for me. I had to stay solid throughout all the match because she was -- okay, maybe she was little bit nervous. I could feel the nerves at the beginning.

But she has strong shots and that's definitely the part of her game. And probably, you know, when she has more experience she can, you know, manage them in a better way. But definitely she hits really strong and can bring damage.

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