February 13, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
E. SVITOLINA/Y. Putintseva
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Yulia is obviously a tough competitor. What do you think were the keys to your win today?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I was expecting a tough battle today. We played some epic matches in the past. For me, was just important to play aggressive. She has a very different game style from what I played my last two rounds, so it wasn't easy at the beginning to adjust.
As soon as I was feeling better, I just stepped my game, and it was quite a comfortable win after.
Q. What was the shock like going from one day with crowds to playing today with that situation?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, it was very different conditions. I played a night match at 7:00 with a good crowd. Now it was completely different. It was for sure a bit disturbing, I would say, in some ways sad.
But it is what it is. I had to accept. I had to have a good mindset, not thinking too much about that. I just tried to focus on my game.
Q. Does it feel a bit like a practice match when you go out there and no one is out there, you have to switch on I suppose?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, in some ways. It feels like that. I actually had few thoughts about it today. It feels like this. I tried to convince myself that it's a Grand Slam and that we are playing an important match. I have to focus on my match.
But for sure there's some thoughts and there is I say some low moments that can sneak into the mind. It's what we have to deal with. I'm trying my best to do it.
Q. You must have been really obviously very happy with the result of the second set.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, definitely. Was very tough at the beginning. I did few errors that I hoped I would not do. She was playing good at the beginning. She was making lots of balls back. She was really playing good.
For me, the key was just to try to find my game, try to deal with what she's giving. I think I dealt with that quite good. I was very happy I could win from 3-4, break down, to I think it's, what, nine or eight games in a row.
Q. You talked about the way your mind is wandering a little bit in the silent conditions. Is it difficult to focus?
ELINA SVITOLINA: It's actually easier to focus, I would say. It's easier and tougher in the same way because when you are down, I think you feel like you're almost alone here. People give you energy, they are supporting you, they are trying to get you back into the match. Here, when you are down, it's like almost only one person, your coach, your physio is there. In this way, that's why I think it's a bit tougher.
But you have to push yourself more in that moment.
Q. Can you share your thoughts on your next opponent. You play Jessica or...
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I think I saw she was up.
Q. Even both of them.
ELINA SVITOLINA: I played against Jessica in Abu Dhabi, not that long ago. She's playing very aggressive. I think she picked up her game quite good for the past I think year. I'm expecting a tough battle against her. She's a good competitor. It's going to be a tough one.
And against Mladenovic, we played last time in China. It was a very tough match for me because I played actually against Putintseva 7-6 in the third, and because of the rain I had to play the same day against Kiki. It was a very tough day for me. She's serving very good. She tries to dominate the game with her forehand.
They are both very different players with different game styles. I'm going to see who is going to win and then prepare for each of them with my coach, have a clear game plan.
Q. You talked about the idea of a lack of energy or atmosphere, ability to focus without a crowd. From a technical standpoint, can it be helpful to be able to hear better the racquet and ball of your opponent? Are there things you can hear because it's quiet that can help you?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I don't think so because the rules are that people are quiet during the match, so it's not like a football match or basketball where the crowd is screaming and making noise.
I think in tennis, it doesn't really make any difference about the ball bouncing because when you are into the rally, you are focused at the highest point possible. Anyway, you are more hearing what's happening, actually the bounce, when the ball hits the racquet.
Q. Sunday is Valentine's Day, that's the holiday of love. What do you see as the role of love in the sport of tennis?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Definitely love is all the time there in tennis because we are playing day in, day out. We have to practice day in, day out. You put lots of hours of work.
If there is no love for tennis, you are not doing that, you are not working hard, you are not enjoying the hard and low moments. For sure, everyone who is competing have some kind of love for tennis.
Q. You've beaten three quality opponents already this week. Are you pleased with your results this week, with the direction of your game this season?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, definitely I'm pleased with the performance I showed here. I had some good matches, as well, in Abu Dhabi. Physically-wise I'm feeling strong, I'm feeling comfortable with my physic.
For sure they haven't been easy matches. That's what I've been looking to start against good opponents. I think I had some good matches. For now everything goes good. I'm adjusting very good to the situations that I've been put in. That's a good sign.
But the tournament is still in the middle, so there's lots of matches, there's lots of challenges ahead of me. I'm trying just to put my head down and to work through every situation, every game, just to break down to the smallest details and try to work with every situation that comes my way.
Q. Do you think to do social media during quarantine helped you endure the situation?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Can you repeat the question?
Q. You are like the queen of social media during the quarantine. Do you think this helped you in that situation?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, it's my kind of way of dealing with the quarantine, with the situations, the restrictions that we put in. I like to share with people. I like to share with the fans, with the people who follow me on my platforms.
For sure, it's just the easy way to entertain people. I see that people love that. I get lots of response. Lots of people come to me and tell me about how they love the TikTok. That's what I love to share with people.
If I can make your day or make you smile, that makes me happy.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports