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September 10, 2019

Elina Svitolina

Zhengzhou, China

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English, please.

Q. Can you just reflect a bit on your year, the performance and the confidence it gives you heading into the Asian swing?
ELINA SVITOLINA: It was a great run, not only in the US Open but in the States in general. I think I played some good matches and for sure I would like to play a little bit better to maybe get a title out of the four tournaments I played, but it was a good step for me for after the grass season and that was quite good, so I'm feeling quite good going into the Asian swing, so we'll see how it goes.

Q. And what are your first thoughts of the tournament and the venue here?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I just actually arrived last night very late and I haven't seen so much. We just arrived here as well. But from the first sight it looks very big. I know that they want to make it even bigger, but it already looks great. And I'm excited, I saw that there's a good crowd coming to watch and hopefully it will be some exciting matches here. The draw is quite tough, so, yeah, we'll see, but I'm excited for this week.

Q. Your first match is against Yulia Putintseva, your thoughts on that?
ELINA SVITOLINA: We played many times, I've known her for a very long time, I think the first time we saw each other was like at the age of 10. So she knows my game, I know her game, so I know a little bit what to expect, I will try to practice today to feel the court, the ball, it's completely conditions than what we have been playing, it's always a bit tricky when you get to play here the first match, but for me I'm just trying to be prepared for anything that comes my way and try to feel good for the upcoming match.

Q. I know that you are from the city of Odessa. There's also a tennis prodigy from there, his name is Dima Kuzminov. When he was only three years old he was certified by Guinness Record Book as the youngest tennis player in the Ukraine. Have you heard about him?

Q. He had a picture with you.
ELINA SVITOLINA: No, no, I don't know. Where?

Q. He is only six years old now, but he already plays very well. Now he wants to go to United States with his father and train there for a long time. They are looking for help from agency companies. Can you give some advice to him and his father?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Unfortunately I don't remember because I meet lots of kids and it's tough to point one of them out. But definitely they have the love for the game, that's very important. From such a young age to be introduced into tennis, I think it's amazing, because tennis teaches you discipline and that's from, for the kids, it's something that gives them lots of opportunities for the future. So if they decide to move abroad, that's probably the right way. If they feel strongly about it, they just need to be confident in their action and for sure there's going to be some chances for him to improve his game.

Q. Currently you are in 10th place of the Race To Shenzhen Finals. So you really need the points to qualify. Do you feel this year's Asian swing is much more important than before, because you are a defending champion, I'm sure you would really want to go back.
ELINA SVITOLINA: I don't think that this year is more important because every year everyone is competing to be in the end year championships. So I don't want to put this kind of pressure on myself. I know that for sure that the points are going to come off and I will drop a little bit, but you don't win those kind of events and then regret that you won them. So you have to be really positive going into any tournament and try to be prepared as much as you can to try to play your best tennis. If it doesn't happen, it's not meant to be. So I always try to give my best chance to be well prepared and ready for everything. For me it's just important, every tournament I play is very important.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Chinese.

Q. My question is would you like, would you please introduce your performance in China and what is your expectation here for this tournament?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Going into any tournament I don't have expectations because expectations is some extra pressure which you put on yourself, which there is no need, because there is enough already going on, enough tough matches, enough tough opponents that you face. So just for me it's always been, for the years that I played on tour, every match that I step or every match I step on the court I just give everything what I have and if it's not meant to be you have to take it and move forward. That's how I try to take every tournament. Every tournament I play is another chance to improve my game.

Q. I noticed that you have posted a food picture on the social media. It's a noodle. And we want to know your comments on the Chinese food and to be more specific have you paid any specific attention to what you have?
ELINA SVITOLINA: No, I don't have any specific, but I love noodles and of course in China that's one of the meals that I love to eat because they do it so well. Almost anywhere in the world you cannot find it, so that's why China is great for it and I try to eat as much as I can while I'm here.

Q. This one is about your girlfriend -- your boyfriend, your boyfriend -- sorry about that.
ELINA SVITOLINA: My husband, my boyfriend.

Q. And they noticed that recently you two opened a social media account and they are wondering that in the future maybe you would play in the mixed doubles and maybe the fans would like to see that.
ELINA SVITOLINA: We actually were talking about it a few days ago before I left to China and it's actually, we would like to play, but unfortunately you can play only the Grand Slams and the Grand Slams is, you know, the events where you want to perform really well. And again it's very, he's been struggling with injuries a lot before, so even if I'm going to make him play with me, I'll have too much pressure to take this risk for him, because you never know when your career is going to end. And you want to perform as good as you can and the Grand Slams is one of the tournaments that for sure it's the ones you want to do very good in. So for now I would say no.

Q. The Chinese fans gave you a nickname that's called maybe like little Chinese cabbage. First off, you're pretty, so it's a nickname for you.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Interesting. Very interesting. Chinese cabbage?


THE MODERATOR: Little Chinese cabbage.

ELINA SVITOLINA: But it means what?

THE MODERATOR: It means first you have a good swing, your swing is very good, and you're also very lovely and gentle, so...


Q. And it's quite delicious.


THE MODERATOR: That's kind of what people eat daily.

ELINA SVITOLINA: Okay. Let's stop here. So what's the question? Sorry. What was the question?

Q. So what's your feeling about this nickname and that?

ELINA SVITOLINA: Well it's very unexpected, I would say. I don't know. It's very nice as probably it is nice nickname, so thank you very much. I have lots of fans in China and Asia in general, so I get lots of small gifts and all the attention, so thank you very much for this and for the nickname too.


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