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July 9, 2019

Elina Svitolina

Wimbledon, London, England


7-5, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How good does it feel to finally get over the hurdle of reaching your first Grand Slam semifinal?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, well, it feels amazing. But I try to don't think so much about it any more as I was trying to not think so much about that I couldn't get the win before in quarterfinals.

So the tournament continues. Yeah, I try to don't think so much about stuff like that.

Q. How do you not think about something? How do you tell yourself? It seems hard to do.
ELINA SVITOLINA: You just try to think about different things. If you start to think about, okay, it's the first time semifinal, like, Stop it (smiling). Like, Stop it. Let's think what I'm going to have for dinner.

Q. What was the hardest part playing Muchova? What was the stumbling block in the first set?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think the hardest part was that I had to make the match physical. I had to really push her physically because I knew obviously that she played three hours yesterday. She was, you know, little bit tired. She had to play like one-, two-shot rallies. That's why I had to run a lot, I had to get lots of balls back, I tried to make one extra ball over the net.

I think in the end, this fighting spirit really helped me to find my game and to get back in the match. First set for sure was the key.

Q. You said 'fighting spirit'. That was something that came up when you were playing in Singapore. The mindset or the feel of this fortnight, has it been similar to then? A lot of people weren't looking at you. You knew you were flying under the radar, kind of outfought a lot of people.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, actually was happy no one really looked at my matches before. Everyone was watching other matches, other players. So it was quite different, you know. Because obviously in Singapore, it's only eight players, so there is lots of talking about everyone.

Before, like going into Roland Garros couple of times, I had lots of expectations, lots of pressure, like different one. Here I just had probably the pressure from myself. I handle it pretty good.

Yeah, it's just about trying to find my game, try to enjoy. Yeah, don't think too much about what can happen.

Q. Your coach Andrew Bettles is British. Talk a little bit about the impact he's had on you in the past two years, what you've learned from him.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, we worked with him already like two and a half years. Yeah, it's been very interesting journey I think for both of us. He started as a hitting partner, then second coach. After Singapore, decided to promote him to the coach.

Yeah, he knows me pretty well. You know, I share a lot with him. We have the same view on some things. Of course, there is sometimes some stuff that we're not seeing the same opinion, we don't have the same opinion on some stuff. In the end, we just try to find the connecting point, what works for both of us.

Yeah, it's been good so far, and I'm happy the way it goes.

Q. When you think about the legends' names on the women's trophy now, Billie Jean King, Navratilova, what do you think it will mean to you to join those names on the trophy?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Definitely it's going -- it will mean a lot to me. But, I never really think about it. Even when I played Singapore, I didn't really think about that kind of pressure that you can put on yourself, that the people can put on yourself.

Of course, it's unbelievable achievements to win Wimbledon, to win Grand Slam. But you have to work for it. There's no easy ways. You have to overcome your fears. You have to overcome. You have to beat the opponent. There is lots of work still ahead of me.

Q. You reached the quarterfinals of the French very young. You played very well on the tour without ever converting that into a performance at the slams. What have you learnt over the last five or six years that allows you now to be in the last four of a major?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think I learned to be patient because I had lots of tough matches in quarterfinal. Few of them was very unlucky. I was not fit 100%. This is also experience, I would say, because you have to save some energy, you have to work smart, you have to schedule your practices, you have to do the right recovery, what works for you.

This is just the way. You have to find your own way, what works for you, for your body, for your mind. I think it's just experience. That's what I really learned.

Q. What would you most want people to know about you as a competitor?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Not going to give the match easy. Fighting spirit. I think that's one of the main, yeah, aspects I would say about me personally. I'm always fighting. I'm always there. Try to bring my best game each match. Always give 100% each point I would say even.

Q. Playing Simona Halep in the semis. What is your opinion on match? Also compare the quarterfinals in Roland Garros two years ago with the semis that you are playing now.
ELINA SVITOLINA: We played many times. We played also many times after that quarterfinal. I don't really want to think about that one because it didn't go my way. It was quite long time ago now. I think we played four or five times after that.

I think I'm a little bit different player now. Yeah, it's going to be interesting match. It's the first time that we play in semifinal. Yeah, it's going to be I think interesting for both of us.

Yeah, hopefully I can bring my best game.

Q. What do you think it will be like being in a Grand Slam semifinal?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Nothing change really yet. I don't know. But I think it's gives you extra motivation, extra confidence for the future I would think. This extra push for the end of the season.

In general, just happy that I'm playing free, I'm playing decent tennis, I would say. Yeah, just happy that I have opportunity to play in semifinal of Wimbledon. It's something special.

Q. What were your earliest dreams and thoughts about Wimbledon that you can remember as a little girl?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I don't think they really streamed in the Ukraine Wimbledon. I think it was more Roland Garros, unfortunately I would say. I remember only when I played my first junior Wimbledon. I just won Roland Garros. I was all confident coming here. Then I got destroyed in the first round. This haven't been a good start for me.

Yeah, I always wanted to play well. I always, yeah, wanted to compete well here. My team, actually thankful for my team to gave me this confidence that I can play well on grass. Just the matter of time to get used to it.

Q. How would you describe the opportunity that you have now to make a name for yourself in a way you haven't so far?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I think is just another chance to play well. I don't take it as a huge opportunity. It's just another match. Don't want to put the pressure that it's semifinal, that Simona is a great opponent to play the semifinal. She's a very tough opponent. I have to bring my best game to win the match.

Yeah, it's going to be tough, tough, tough match. Hopefully I can play well.

Q. We could see Gael supporting you in your box, and on social media. What is it like having someone who is another tennis player along with you on the journey?
ELINA SVITOLINA: It's someone who understands what I'm going through. It's very helpful for me. Yeah, he's been very understandable.

Haven't been easy for me. For the past months it was not easy because I was traveling with my injury. The first time when I really had to stop, didn't practice properly. Normally I'm practicing like five hours a day. I'm always doing something. I had to stop, almost do nothing.

He was very helpful. We were talking a lot. I'm very close person, I would say. It really opened me as a person that I really start to understand what's important for me, some parts that I didn't really thought about before. So this was very helpful.

In the end it's always me who decides my own decisions. But, yeah, it's good that he helps me.

Q. On the men's side of the tournament there's been a lot of dominance. On the women's it's very much different. A lot of unpredictability. Muchova, Zhang, all made it. Why has nobody taken dominance in the women's game?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I don't think it's about the dominance. It's just about the girls, they are very -- the level is pretty much the same. Someone plays well at some weeks, someone is sometimes struggling.

It's tough because I think the women's tennis now is very high level. We have lots of tough matches from the first rounds. That's why it's very interesting who's going to be well prepared for this or that week.

I think women's tennis now these days is very interesting just in general. Everyone is very fit. Everyone is ready. Everyone is out there trying their best. We see lots of interesting and tough matches from the early rounds.

Q. Are you staying at your apartment or in a hotel?
ELINA SVITOLINA: No, I'm staying in a hotel because I rent out my apartment unfortunately.

Q. What is it like to play an event in the city you obviously spend a lot of time in? Is it any different?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, it's the same I would say as in Paris because I used to spend lots of time in Paris. It almost feels like a home Grand Slam. Unfortunately in Ukraine there is no Grand Slam - yet (smiling). But, yeah, London has always been a city that I loved. I really enjoy my time here. Lots of stuff to do.

Yeah, just really enjoy spending time here. I try to stay as long as possible. So this year it happened finally. I'm staying little bit longer. Yeah, something that makes you feel good when you wake up in the morning.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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