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June 17, 2019

Elina Svitolina

Birmingham, England

M. GASPARYAN/E. Svitolina

6-3, 3-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. (Off microphone - question about Gasparyan's backhand).
ELINA SVITOLINA: Today there was not so many. I mean, it looks good and I think it can be quite difficult to get used to and they have a good slice as well so that's advantage, I think. Yes.

Q. How do you feel about your overall level on your first match back on grass?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think she was better, but I think there were some positives out there. I see what I have to work on and yeah, I just take this match as progress forwards and just try to look for the positives and nothing else.

Q. How are you feeling physically because you were saying after the French Open that maybe you might not play on the grass?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I feel better, definitely. I did some recovery work and I practiced a little bit as well so... But it hasn't been easy for the past three months I would say, mentally as well. So I'm just happy to be on court playing and without the pain that I had previously.

Q. Do you feel like you can sort of play your way back to 100 percent?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, for sure. I'm going to play in Eastbourne and just to get some matches and hopefully I can play well and go from there, take one match at a time. There's nothing more rush for anything. I just want to be pain-free and be happy in general.

Q. Was there anything you feel like you could have done differently in the match today?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I could have served better. I think I played one really very poor game in the third set on my serve so that gave her the chance to dominate and that's where I think I gave her the second break and then it was really tough to come back and yeah, just it didn't happen for me today.

Q. Do you feel like you gave Gasparyan too many opportunities to dictate points?
ELINA SVITOLINA: A few of the important ones she went for it and I played safe so that, on grass, it is not acceptable and that I think gave her confidence to go for more. So I think this is what I have to work on and to be really aggressive in my next matches on the grass.

Q. How tough has it been mentally? You have been used to sort of being pretty consistent in terms of winning matches at WTA events and Slams?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yes, it is something new that I experience now. That is why, as I said, mentally it is not easy to come back and to lose a couple of times in the first round and that's what we are working on with my team.

I have people who are supporting me and to then build the confidence that is the most important and I don't think -- this match is sad that I lost, but I am just happy to have a chance to play in this kind of tournament, so that's it.

Q. How do you face the grass season compared to the clay and hard-court seasons terms of expectations on yourself, what you aim to get out of it? What are your expectations for yourself are?
ELINA SVITOLINA: My expectations, yeah -- I don't have expectations. For me it is just playing one tournament, one match at a time. I just want to win as many matches as I can. If I don't, it's maybe not meant to be but I try my best. I try my best, I try to work really hard each day, on the court, off the court, to be ready for each event and each match as a final and don't really think too far ahead and, as I said. Health s very important for me and that is the priority for me now.

Q. Given that you haven't played many matches recently, do you feel like you have to just accept that your form is going to take a while to come back?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I don't think so much, but of course I didn't play too many matches, like for example before like last year I was playing lots. But it's about just being fresh mentally and physically, that's important for me. And I don't think about negative things. And there's no point in focussing on them if you don't want them to happen, so just try to find something positive.

Q. It's always hard coming on to a new surface and when you get a result like this, how much of a knock-back is it and is it actually something you then go and work hard, or do you take a few days off and relax and how do you relax?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yes, of course, it's a little bit disappointing to lose the first match on a different surface; it doesn't give you much confidence. But also I don't try to take away the confidence that I got from the Roland Garros which was not too bad.

So it's important to just be ready for the next challenge, the next match, to relax and mostly in terms of spending time with my team and with my friends, not so much of the like active stuff, but like just relaxing.

Q. Do you listen to music at all? Do you have any sort of things that get you into a different space mentally?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yes, I go for a walk. I spend time with friends. I do boxing sometimes as well and do something different, something like that, that helps me to just relax my mind.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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