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May 26, 2019

Elina Svitolina

Paris, France

E. SVITOLINA/V. Williams

6-3, 6-3

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Congrats on getting back in the winner's circle. That must feel really good for you after a long, bumpy road, tough times with injuries, and to be here in Paris, a place you love and a place you play well at. Can you explain to us how it feels to get that first win in what? Two months has it been?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I didn't really focus on this, so that's why, you know, it's -- I didn't really think about my losing streak because I think all the matches that I played, except Madrid maybe, was close and I felt not too bad.

And I didn't lose any confidence, I would say. And I think this mindset really helped me today to play good match under pressure, because, you know, it was quite tough match.

So just, yeah, playing better and it's what matters the most.

Q. You said before the tournament that you don't have any big expectation here. Do you change your mind now or is the same?
ELINA SVITOLINA: No, not really. Because I think it's important to keep it, yeah, low expectations because since with injuries is tricky. You can feel good and then sometimes it can, you know, just pop up. And it's important just to take one match at a time, to do everything what is in your power, and what you can control is your recovery. And then, if it's not meant to be, it's like that. But it's important just keep focus.

Q. You've played well at Roland Garros in the past. In the week before today, what was your thought process? What were you thinking about to put yourself in the best frame of mind for today's game?
ELINA SVITOLINA: For me, I was just trying to focus on things that I can control. You know, there's nothing more that I was thinking about. I know it was not easy. But for me, it was just the motivation for me to get straight into the tournament, to have a mindset straight on. You know, I had no time to lose from the first point.

And I think Venus is sometimes playing unbelievable, and I had to accept and move forward. So that's why it's -- yeah, got me straight into fighting mindset, and I think, yeah, helped me today to go through this match.

Q. How much would you say that your leg injury held you back over the last few months? Because it seemed to me that you were struggling with it at Indian Wells and how much better do you feel now? Do you feel like you're able to play your style of tennis, that physical type of tennis that you're known for?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Definitely was very disappointing since even in Dubai, you know, I had a very tough match in semifinal and unfortunately I lost. And I thought, you know, I was up, I had the match, but then my body just didn't really push. I didn't really have the power to push.

And obviously, you know, was playing Bencic. She took her chance and played great tennis. And, you know, in this level, you have no time to just be slack, to be really not in the match. So if you're not there, your opponent is going to take the chance.

So that's why, for me, sometimes in few matches in the past two months, I had where I was not thinking, you know, about what I had to do on court. I was more away with the fairies, I would say.

So it's not easy, but I learned a lot during these two months, and I tried to have a right mindset, which going to help me to handle this. And, you know, today it was a good example that I can do it and I took my chances today.

Q. You just said there that you have learned a lot over the last two months. What are some of the things that you have learned and drawn strength from?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Again? Sorry. I didn't hear the end.

Q. Things that you have learned and things that you can take as a positive.
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think lots of things positive, but it was important to don't let negative thoughts take over. And I think I watched lots of documentaries about the athletes, how they bounce back. And it's just the progress of overcoming challenges, and it's important to react the right way and find the things what is going to help you.

Because everyone has their own way, and it's important to have your own way which going to help you to move forward and not get the negative thoughts on the way.

Q. You played on Court 3, which is a brand new court, and how does it play and can you compare it with other courts? I was there. I think it's very intimate, I mean, but this is my view. I didn't play on it obviously.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, the court is very, very nice. You know, just the only one thing uncomfortable is when you need to go through the crowd for your match and after your match. It's little bit uncomfortable, I would say. But I think security is doing their best to help us make it more comfortable.

We have some waiting rooms there, but it's still -- you know, okay, today I won and it was nice to go through the crowd, but I think when you lose that's very, very disturbing, I would say.

So the court itself is beautiful. I really enjoyed the bounce of it, and I think the crowd is -- when it's a full house, then it's great. And even, I mean, for all the matches that I saw a TV before me, they were nice, and I think people are enjoying it.

Q. Maybe you have a few words about your upcoming opponent, playing against a compatriot?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, of course. I know Kateryna for a long time. We played, I think, under -- I don't know -- in the eighth the first time.

So, yeah, I haven't seen much of her game recently, but we'll see how it goes. I just try to don't think so much about the opponents who is on the other side of the net. I just try to take one match and just be ready for it.

For me, the most important is that I am ready; I am feeling good on court; my movement is good; I'm mentally fresh, and that's what matters.

Q. Venus Williams is 38. Do you see yourself playing at the same age?
ELINA SVITOLINA: No. Definitely no. It takes lots of willpower, I think. It's amazing what she does and how she still keep going and still motivated to play. And, yeah, it's amazing.

Even today, I was playing against her and thinking, you know, I'm not sure I will be here playing at that age.

But she's a great player. Still can challenge, you know, everyone on tour.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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