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September 24, 2019

Elina Svitolina

Wuhan, Hubei, China

E. SVITOLINA/G. Muguruza

7-5, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Not an easy match, not an easy opponent for you, but straight sets. How did you get it done today?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I think it was a very tough match for the first match for me. I think, you know, I played solid game. There was some great, great rallies, some tough games, which was quite expected. It's always tough to play someone who is straight, gives you high-level tennis.

That's why I had to be focused, that's why I had to stay focused throughout the match.

Q. Hasn't been an easy year for her. She's capable of a lot. How difficult is that knowing she can be capable of bringing really good tennis at any given time in that match?
ELINA SVITOLINA: For sure I was expecting her to give me a chance to come back into the match. She started amazing. She was striking the ball really good. I had to stay very tough. As always, I had to keep fighting and try to get every single point back, try to fight for every point.

In the end, I got the chance and I took it. So this was something that was good today, that I was on it when I had to.

Q. The sleeve on the knee, didn't look like it hindered you that much. How were you feeling physically on the court?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I feel fine for now. You know, we do everything what's in our power. We try to manage it with physios here. They're doing everything what's possible and what's not.

We do everything 100% to be ready for the match here. We see each time I step on court, yeah, just go from there.

Q. In Switzerland you practice in the same club. You practiced with her occasionally there or not so?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, we practice in the same club, which is great I think. But unfortunately we never crossed each other there. I practiced a couple of times with Donna. Yeah, with Garbine, no, because I think she goes to States for the off-season, and I was there. We don't cross each other.

Q. Most people are getting tired towards the end of the season. You're playing the fifth week in a row. How do you keep sort of fresh in this part of the year?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I am not a robot, but I am extremely motivated to play in Shenzhen. For me for sure every tournament matters a lot. When I step on court, every single match matters. I try to be ready as much as I can.

I don't think what's can happen next week, what can happen tomorrow, you just take one match at a time and try to give everything what I have and try to play better and be better each time I step on the court.

Q. There are many kids here in this room. If you have to give them one single advice how to come to your level one day, what should they do?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Hopefully they can get better level than me. I think the most important is just to have fun with your friends and try to be really patient about your results.

Maybe not every single day or every single match you're going to win. Of course, all of us are losers at some point, so it is normal to lose (smiling). You just have to try to analyze what you do wrong, then next time try to do better.

Q. From the perspective of a lot of the young girls playing sports, when you're young sometimes the natural thing to do in different communities. For you, did you play other sports other than tennis when you were young? How did you get into sports? What do you think is the impact of playing sports for young girls?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, definitely I was doing lots of sports. I even once almost quit tennis for gymnastics. Well, we can see I'm not a gymnast now, which is good (smiling).

Yeah, I was doing basketball. I was doing running a lot. I think actually running helped me a lot on the court. All the sports, they bring something into your mind. When you are doing something professionally, you definitely remember how is it to be like a runner or a gymnast or whatever. You appreciate it more. You definitely take something that helps you.

So I think for a kid, it's very important to do different kind of sports so they can realize what sports are better for them. Also for their mind, I think just don't be, like, so serious and don't put so much pressure.

Q. Why did you pick tennis then over gymnastics?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I wanted to eat, so that's why (laughter). I love food too much, you know.

Q. You play Kuznetsova next. What makes her a difficult opponent? The heavy spin...
ELINA SVITOLINA: She's been playing good recently. It's going to be another tough match. I try to don't focus so much. I know her game style, I know what to expect. I have to be ready physically, mentally for the fight. That's what I'm going to try to do tomorrow.

Q. What was the extent of the gymnastics training? Did you do apparatus?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, it didn't go that far. I stopped earlier. I was doing lots of stretching. At the beginning when you're a kid, you do fun stuff. Already this fun stuff was quite tough. I realized that maybe tennis is a little bit easier. For me, I was getting more results easier through tennis.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in Chinese.

Q. You mentioned you like food. We have many local cuisines in Wuhan. Have you tried any?
ELINA SVITOLINA: The local cuisine, I love noodles a lot. I try to eat as often as I can while I'm in China.

Q. We have the spicy noodles in Wuhan. Have you tried it?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I haven't tried it yet. Definitely I'm going to try because I love spicy food. I love noodles, different kind of them.

Q. I want to ask, your opponent today has very similar styles, you are both aggressive players. When you are facing a player who is also aggressive, what kind of tactics would you choose? To be more aggressive or change your mindset?
ELINA SVITOLINA: It's actually a very, very good question. Very surprised from your question. It's a very good thinking actually.

So to be fair, I don't consider myself as extremely aggressive. Definitely Garbine, she's more aggressive player if we scale it. But for me, I try to play more direction, try to place the ball in the right place, then react quick and try to find the ball where I can direct it and take the opportunity to hit it wide or to hit it as deep as I can, to take the opportunity, yeah, to dominate.

But at the beginning, for sure I'm more defensive and then trying to take the court later in the rally.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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