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August 28, 2019

Elina Svitolina

New York, NY, USA

E. SVITOLINA/V. Williams

6-4, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Quite the big stage. I know you have beaten Venus before, but obviously this stage, just talk about the overall experience of the match and doing it here at the US Open.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, definitely was one of the nicest, I would say, crowd that I played. Of course they were against me, but I just tried to accept this and tried to actually turn it the other way to try to say to myself that, you know, They're cheering, but they're cheering for me (smiling), which actually was not true.

But I think it was good. I really enjoy playing. It was almost packed. Not every day you get this chance.

I tried to really push myself, and I think this really motivated me to play very well and compete. I think in the end it was very intense and very solid match.

Q. You have had your best Grand Slam result at this tournament, correct?
ELINA SVITOLINA: No. No, Wimbledon.

Q. Of course, of course. But you have had good runs here before. Do you feel right now...
ELINA SVITOLINA: Actually, this one is the worst.

Q. Two matches in a row against Americans here at the US Open. How important is that sort of to start the tournament off with maybe not tough crowds but crowds that you know are not pulling for you, so to speak?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I try just to focus on myself. Of course it's maybe when you're losing, when you're down, it can play on your mind, but you try to really stay on your path, I would say, just to stay focused on your game, what you have to do on court. That's what I'm trying to do all the time that I'm playing in front of big crowd who is against me. And so far it works.

Yeah, it's a challenge, I would say. You're playing not only against opponent but you're also against people. Yeah, sometimes it can be challenging, but you have to accept. You have to really turn it upside down.

Q. In that second set you had match point quite a few times. Came back, was able to fight them off. How big was it to be able to stay within yourself and not worry about all the match points lost and then hold on with your own serve and propelling that for you going forward to make hopefully a deep run into the second week here?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, it was actually a very tough game. Someone told me I played, like, 15 minutes that game. She was actually playing incredible. My coach said, as well, that I didn't do much wrong there. So I had to accept and move forward, because if I would focus too much on the negative that I had the opportunity, there was one which was, I thought I had the chance, I missed like by a millimeter.

So you have to accept. Tennis is a quick game, especially 5-3 when you are about to close, you have to stay within yourself and give yourself a good chance to come back and earn another opportunity to get the match point and try to take it.

Q. Playing indoors today, how different are those conditions to playing outdoors? What adjustments did you make? How much is it a relief to be done for the day because of the weather?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I cannot say it was much different. I practiced on Armstrong with the open roof a few days before. So I like to play on that court. It's a little bit quicker, I would say, than Ashe. You have to adjust a little bit. Tennis is about adjustments each day.

It's actually very, very nice court. You have no wind almost. The crowd is great there. It's very, like, cozy to play there.

I enjoy to play there. I like the court itself.

Q. Venus seemed to raise her game when you were taking the lead. Talk about her as a competitor and going up against her ball and game in those situations.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, always when I face her, it's always a challenge because she always -- you don't know what to expect. She always fights. She never gives you, you know -- you have to earn. You have to earn almost every point. You have to step up your game. If you give her short ball she always takes it on. So you have to be aware.

And playing every point, that's, I think, what is challenging to play against her. And obviously we could see when it was 3-5, you know, she really stepped up. Went for her second serves. Maybe I was not expecting a little bit. So, you know, you have to use your experience to stay in the match. I think I played very solid in the end to close the match.

Q. There is video out there of you and Gaƫl hitting together at tournaments, whatever, having a good time. When you're serious and you're hitting together, how does that help you prepare for matches?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, we're hitting. I'm warming up sometimes with him. It's fun but also I think for me it helps my game to react quickly. I'm still doing lots of drills with my coach afterwards, because his ball is very heavy, and you have to adjust very quickly. And also to train not only in defense but also offense. I train with him but also I have maybe half an hour more, one hour more with my coach afterwards.

Of course there is benefits, but you have to adjust the practices differently. That is fun always. We enjoy each other completely on the court, as well.

Q. You could play Yastremska next. How well do you know her? Have you spoken or helped her in any way?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, actually, we are from the same city, which is great to have the girl who is playing great and from the same city as me. It's unbelievable. We never actually practice, I think, even. Never played, never practiced. I know her a little bit obviously. We know each other. We speak from time to time.

Yeah, I never played against her, so it's going to be interesting match, I guess. It's good, because one of the Ukrainians going to be in the fourth round, which is good.

Q. How much have you seen her play? She has big balls and aggressive, beaten a lot of players in the last couple of months.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, she's been improving very good. I think it's great for her. She has been taking some good players and really showing she's a powerful player. I have to bring my best game. I try to focus only on my game, and it's important for me to bring my best game. And then, you know, I have a good chance to play well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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