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February 16, 2020

Elina Svitolina

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How do you feel about your game coming in?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I try to take one day at a time. I don't rush things. I try to just prepare well, feel good being out there. For me for sure it's nice to be back here, have great memories. That's what matters for me for now.

Q. As a two-time champion, do you put extra expectations on yourself knowing you had success here before?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I don't think so. For me it's more confidence because I played well here. I won this tournament twice, so definitely I did something right before. I just have to try to find the way to get into the same routines and playing well.

It's more confidence than pressure.

Q. You spent your off-season here last year. What are some of the fun things you did while you were here?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Went to the rollercoasters. Most of the time we were on the court. Rollercoasters one of the things we did. It's nice, indoor, which is different. Normally it's outside. But here it's indoors. It's a cool place.

Q. (Question about goals for the year.)
ELINA SVITOLINA: For sure, as it is the Olympic year, it's important for me to play well at the Olympics, try to get a gold for Ukraine. All the Grand Slams are always the ultimate goal I think for every tennis player.

But for me, I think trying to find back my game, my rhythm, stay healthy throughout the year. When I feel good, I can play on a high level. For me being healthy and playing consistent, that's how I get back on the top and staying there as well.

Q. What is your biggest takeaway from the match with Garbine in Australia?
ELINA SVITOLINA: She played unbelievable two weeks, I think. Actually from my match, she started to play really well (laughter). It was maybe the timing, little bit tough I think.

But I just try to focus on positive things. I think in the end I didn't play bad. I'm on the right way. I have to work really hard on the court to be ready for the challenge.

Now everyone is super fit. Every single match from the beginning of the tournament is important. You have to be 100% on it. That's what I am trying to work on.

Q. What has it been like having Marcos around?
ELINA SVITOLINA: It's nice to have someone who been through some tough moments and you can share with. Also I think Andy, they spoke a lot with Andy, it's refreshed his mind, as well.

We see my game little bit differently so we can adjust. But for me I still need little bit of time because I'm that kind of player that I like when everything is settled down. Definitely need a little bit more time to adjust to some changes. So we'll see how it goes.

Q. Andy is here?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Andy is here.

Q. A lot of excitement with Kim coming back. Do you have any specific memories of Kim that are special to you?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Actually I was hoping I could play her this week. Hopefully we'll see many more of her matches. I really loved watching her when I was little. The movement that she was doing on the court was something unbelievable. When I was watching her, I try to copy her little bit.

She's a great player. She played some unbelievable matches. Definitely will be nice to see her playing.

Q. How surprised are you that she's coming back?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, it was actually very surprise. Couldn't really believe that. It takes lots of work, dedication, love for the game to do that. It's very impressive to see that.

Q. Do you think you'll watch her comeback match against Garbine?
ELINA SVITOLINA: For sure, I think.

Q. What was your reaction to Sofia Kenin's run in Australia, as well?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, to be fair, after I lost the tournament, I saw little bit of the draw. I saw there was an opening when Serena lost. You could see she was a potential semifinalist or finalist.

She's a great player. I probably played her the most of last year, five times we played. I could see she has a level. She plays well. She's consistent.

I expected she could play really well and win the title if she could hold her nerves. She did it. She played unbelievable in all the matches.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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