February 11, 2021
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
E. SVITOLINA/C. Gauff
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How was it playing on Rod Laver tonight and how was it playing against Coco?
ELINA SVITOLINA: It was great. I mean, I missed that so much. I think the last time that I played in front of that many people and the crowd was like that, I think it was US Open when I played a night match against Madison Keys or against Serena, as well. So yeah, it was a good atmosphere and I really enjoyed the fight, as well.
Q. You said on the interview on court that the word "energy" kind of summed that up. What do you think was the reason for such a very focused, very intense, very energetic performance tonight?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think just I wanted just to play a good match, and I knew that Coco is all the time playing with a crowd, like fired up. So I was expecting her to be straight into the match and playing well, as it happened. I think I faced a break point the first game, and then from then on I was just pushing myself and I was playing great tennis. I think I played very solid from the beginning until the end, and yeah, it was a really great performance.
Q. What's the takeaway for you from tonight as you move on to the third round and through to the next few rounds?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think there's lots of positives. I think I'm moving good. I think the serve really helped me today a lot because Coco was serving great, as well. So I think serve is something that I've been working on, and now I'm finding better balance with that.
Just in general, I'm feeling good right now. I'll try to take the day off tomorrow just to work a little bit on my game. Also with my next opponent it's going to be a tough one, but just try to recover, train tomorrow and be ready for next round.
Q. Some players said that the courts are faster than last year. Do you prefer these conditions or last year's courts?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, it's tough to say. We are here. We are playing. I cannot complain. I cannot let this play on my mind.
For sure every court here is different. I played two matches on Rod Laver, one day, one night. Maybe they were different, but also I faced a different player, so it's really tough to say. We are here already, what, four weeks playing on these courts. I played different courts when I was training in the quarantine.
For sure maybe somehow they are a little bit quicker. Margaret is still quite slow, I would say, from all of the other courts. So I tried to adjust. I tried not to think about it so much. But yeah, it's tennis; you have to adjust quick.
Q. And what about your next matchup with Yulia Putintseva?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I know her from a very young age. I think first time we played when we were like 10 or 12 or something like that. It's going to be another big battle. It's never easy when you are playing someone who you know for so many years.
I think last time we played it was 7-6 in the third, I think it was in Zhengzhou, and yeah, we had some epic matches. I remember also we played Roland Garros when I was, I think, 2-5 down in the second and then I came back to win the match.
I will just try to take positives from tonight. I think I'm in a good place right now, and recover, and yeah, train for my next round.
Q. Was Yulia the same at 10 years old as she is now or how different is she?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Actually she's not different at all. She's still a great fighter. She was screaming, she was all the time really pumped, as she is now, as well. She lets her emotions go. It didn't change anything. We all grow, but at the same time we stay the same when we are playing tennis when we are in a fighting mood.
I think fighting spirit is something that you have from a young age, and that's what you have to keep and keep improving your game.
She's been playing good. She's been playing well lately. So yeah, I'm looking forward to the match.
Q. I just wanted to ask you, in Abu Dhabi you said you started working with a sports psychologist and things like that. What has that experience been like if you're still working with them while you're here in Australia, but going through the quarantine, there's a lot happening. Can you talk about what that experience has been like working with them, and what is the process? Is it phone calls, FaceTime, texting, that whole sort of thing?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah. It's a FaceTime. It's easier when you see the person, especially now I've been working with her for some time now, and it really helps me, calms me down.
I talk a lot, you know, and this kind of conversations that we have, I talk a lot, and I discover lots of things by myself, but that's, I think, the main purpose of the conversations with the coaches is because you talk, and the good thing is that she directs me in a good way and then I find out something that maybe I didn't see because sometimes when you are, for example, on the court, you are so into the match, you cannot see what's happening.
The same situation in life, you know. Sometimes you face some moments where you are so into the moment you don't see what's happening around you, and then that's, I think, important to have some people like a coach or psychologist who can direct you, who can just help you to see what's happening.
For sure it hasn't been easy. I was a lucky one to not have a strict quarantine, so I take that as a big positive because I don't know in which kind of fitness conditions I would be if I would spend two weeks in my room. That's a big positive, and I had a good preparation with Iga. We've been training, having fun, so that's also positive.
For now it's positives and all negative tests, so that's good. That's a balance.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports