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US OPEN


September 1, 2019


Elina Svitolina


New York, NY, USA

E. SVITOLINA/M. Keys

7-5, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. A really comprehensive win for you. How pleased are you with your performance? What are you most proud of tonight?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, it was really good performance from me. Very solid, I would say, from the beginning until the end.

Yeah, I was feeling very good today physically, which helps my game, obviously. Yeah, it's something that, yeah, very special for me to play in front of so many people. Night session in New York is always very special. To get a win is a special feeling.

Q. Madison said she was struggling on the return. Did you feel you were serving well? Were you placing it well? What are your thoughts?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think generally I was serving very good today. I was changing the pace, I was changing the placement very good. All the important points at the beginning gave me the confidence after to be more aggressive with my serve.

Yeah, it's a little bit of everything. I think I served well, and then maybe, I don't know, she didn't feel maybe the return so well tonight. Yeah, I was happy the way I handled my service games.

Q. You played her two years ago at this round of this tournament and it was a different result. How different do you feel now as a player and as a person compared to the last years?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I had to take a look to analyze what I did wrong. It was a very tough match that time. I was leading in the third set. It was very, very painful loss for me, that one.

I learned a lot. Not only for this match but also for the, you know, future. Yeah, with these kind of matches you learn is very painful experience, but I think in the end it helps you to improve your game and the way you have to handle the pressure points.

Q. When you have done so well against Jo in the past, what have been the keys to those wins?
ELINA SVITOLINA: To be fair, they have all been very tough matches. She's very tough opponent. She strikes the ball very good, and I have to react very quickly with my feet.

Like today, you know, I have to stay very solid from the baseline. You know, I know a bit what to expect. I have been practicing a little bit with her. You know, I have to step on court and be focused on my game. That's my goal for the next match.

Q. What is so tough about her, do you think?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think she's a solid player. She plays always well in the Grand Slams, and, yeah, she's just a very solid player. She's a top player. She's been in top 10, been playing very good tennis.

Q. This is obviously your first time in the US Open quarterfinals. How much did your run at Wimbledon inspire you or set you up for finally getting to this milestone?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, this is the first quarterfinals actually. I'm very happy because I was always playing well here but never went past the fourth round.

I don't think that Wimbledon at some point changed something or helped me, but it definitely helped me at that point, because the injuries that I had a little bit took away my confidence physically. Playing well Wimbledon gave me, you know, a little bit of a push and confidence on my footwork, and I would say in general just it was an amazing run for me.

Q. Last night you probably thought of one way you were going to play today. At what point did you think that you were about to win? I noticed when the referee said, "Ms. Keys," "Ms. Keys," at the same point you became more and more about making your points. It just seems at that point you saw that and began to win the games.
ELINA SVITOLINA: For me, I was just trying to stay focused from the first point to the last point. Madison is very powerful player, so you have to be at your best all the time and react very quickly. There was also lots of people, and the night sessions are very, you know, intense.

So you have to bring your best game. It happened for me today, and I'm happy that it happened actually in the fourth round, and I'm finally in the quarterfinal here.

Q. Jo doesn't play a lot of doubles but you have played with her in a couple of tournaments. How close are you with her?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, sometimes. She's a very nice girl. We practice few times in London. I mean, we play doubles, just like casual -- I don't know. Just a casual relationship. Yeah, we know each other I think pretty much.

Q. Gaƫl talked a bit about the sort of the financial struggles of tennis and to even make a certain round here to break even. Curious how much you think of that for yourself and balancing those sorts of struggles as a couple and all of those things like that?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, first of all, to be clear, this was said as he was leaving the room. People don't know, but the journalist made a big story about it. But as he was leaving the room, he kind of, like a joke, that probably he needs to make a fourth round but normally third round covers the expenses.

No one knows how much the bonuses, the salaries, how much maybe there is a lifetime contract that he has to pay, you know. No one knows about that.

So people jumped on this comment and the journalist made it like a statement from him, which is not correct.

That's pretty much it. Everyone has their own story, their own journey. Maybe he has bigger team, you know. He always loves to travel with many people. Some people prefer to have two people in their box. Everyone has their own story and their own expenses.

That's why this was really uncorrect, I would say, from the, yeah, from the journalist and to make that story.

Q. What effect do you think Gaƫl has had on your game?
ELINA SVITOLINA: For me, I think hitting with him it's definitely helped me to improve my reaction and my footwork, move really quickly, because his ball is very flat. Flat, like, it's very heavy from his racquet. Maybe from the side it doesn't look like that, but definitely there is lots of power on it.

But I'm practicing with him, and then also I'm taking time with my coach doing some specific drills, because if I'm always practicing in defense, that's not so good either. I try to keep the balance, and that's been working good so far, you know.

I think every practice that I step on court I try to give 100%. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. You try to give everything.

Q. So Gaƫl's effect on your game in general, how would you describe it?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think more calm, if you want to describe it in few words. It's more calm and, you know, I talk more now with my coach. I'm more open with my coach and also with, you know, with Gaƫl about the tennis and my feeling. This really changed, I think, for the past, I don't know, nine, ten months.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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