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November 1, 2019

Elina Svitolina

Shenzhen, China


7-5, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. The end of the second set was crazy, she was doing some outrageous stuff. How did you keep your head in the game?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I already had similar experience in the first match here. I knew that I had to stay strong. There was no other way. I had no other option.

Yeah, that's pretty much what helped me to win.

Q. In terms of qualification and everything, this match didn't have an impact. You still played it like your life depended on it. How do you manage to muster up that motivation?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I am that kind of person that each time I step on the court I have to win. My parents raised me this way, that I have to fight for everything, I have to give 100% each time I play. They would be very angry if I would just give this match to her. And my grandmother, as well, she would be very sad (smiling).

Q. Did it take any pressure off knowing you were already through?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I think little bit. I was more relaxed. I was not, like, super intense before the match. For sure it helped me a little bit. With the confidence, as well, it was a big advantage.

Q. You have Belinda next. You played twice this year. What kind of challenge will they bring?
ELINA SVITOLINA: We know all the game style that she has. She takes the ball quite early, and you have to be ready for this game style. For me the main thing is to recover first, to be fresh tomorrow physically and mentally.

Q. Gael Monfils has a crucial match tonight. It's 2:30 in the morning. Are you going to watch it or you better sleep for your semifinal?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, he definitely doesn't want me to watch this. I will definitely be resting. I also have a crucial match tomorrow, so... Be sleeping probably.

Q. Many players struggle with their form at this point. You seem to be very fit. What is your key of that?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I try to take each match as the last one. It's the last tournament, so I try to give everything what I have each match. As we can see, even the match didn't decide anything for me, it's important to fight, yeah, to go there and fight for every point.

That's what's been working so far. There have been lots of tough matches each time I played last year, this year. That's what helps me.

Q. Going undefeated in the round-robin means you're eligible for the full prize money, $4.7 million, biggest prize money in all of tennis. Was this any extra motivation for you?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, for sure it's big motivation for everyone. The prize money been raised. We all aware about that.

I think first of all it's amazing for women's tennis in general. We are moving the right direction. Yeah, it's amazing to have these kind of events, the first time in any sport. That's a huge step for us. Definitely very, very proud that it's in tennis and that we are part of it.

Q. I remember last year in the off-season I watched some of your fitness training videos. Very intense. Talk about how strong of a player you are now compared to three years ago.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, definitely two years ago I was quite strong already, but I think in a different way. I have little bit different maybe game style now. I have a better serve. I'm serving stronger. We can see that on the monitor. My serve is now stronger than it was before.

I think now for sure there been some struggle in the middle of the season where I was struggling with injury. It's tough to say. Now I'm coming back to playing better and moving better. That's a huge step for me, for my confidence, my fitness.

I will have to take time in the season to do a proper recovery and to strengthen my legs. That's going to be the priority for the off-season.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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