Roland Garros

Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Paris, France

Elina Svitolina

Press Conference


6-3, 0-6, 6-2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Your thoughts on Serena today? She's pulled out. Do you think what she's done in her career can be matched by anyone on the tour currently?

ELINA SVITOLINA: Actually I didn't know that she pulled out. I didn't go on Twitter, didn't know actually.

Well, I think anyway doesn't matter if she's out of the tournament. She's a great champion. It's very tough to say something else because all the time that I play against her, it's a big privilege for me to play against.

It's tough, I would say, because I thought she was playing much better. She was playing a good level in U.S. On clay right now is a little bit different. I don't know what form she would be in, but I'm sure she would be playing well.

Unfortunately she had to pull out.

Q. Tell me about the match today. It was a strange match. What happened in the second set?

ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, honestly I'm still questioning myself because I was a bit of a drop. I don't remember much of the second set (smiling). Also maybe I was dreaming today.

It's very tough to say. I was going maybe for too much. In the end when I was playing really good, I was playing aggressive, I was going for my shots. Maybe a few mistakes here and there. Then in the end she was quite solid from the baseline, took her chances, didn't miss so much. Yeah, it was dreamy second set to be fair.

Q. Did you hear the very loud bang? It was a fighter plane breaking the speed of sound. Did you hear it while you were playing and did it surprise you?

ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I heard it. I was a bit worried because I thought something bad happened. I looked at the chair umpire. He was little bit shocked as well because you never know these days what can happen, what's going on.

Yeah, it was the airplane, so... It was very strange, very loud, like something big dropped.

Q. Did you get to know something about Zarazua previous to the match, if she surprised you with her level?

ELINA SVITOLINA: I didn't know anything about her coming into the match, so I had to really check her game out. I also didn't see her previous match, the one she played against French girl. Was a little bit of a surprise for me. Now these days, I'm quite used to play some girls who I don't know.

I had a very strong start. To be fair, I had clear tactics. She is a very solid player. She moves the ball really good. For her small height, I think she moves quite good.

I know that she beat Sloane Stephens before. She knows how to play on the big stages. She can play really good tennis. For me was important to just play my game and try to find my way back into the match.

Q. Can you talk about how you're feeling physically, with the week in Strasbourg, playing here, conditions being heavier. Body-wise, how are you feeling?

ELINA SVITOLINA: To be fair, I'm feeling fine. Every athlete I think experience some kind of tightness or soreness. Me after winning the title, for sure is a little bit different experience because normally I'm more fresher for the Grand Slam.

To be fair, mentally I'm feeling better because I played lots of matches in a row. I'm feeling like I'm into the game mode, I would say.

It's quite interesting situation. But body-wise I feeling fine. I need maybe extra half hour massage. To be fair, I'm feeling fine and ready.

Q. Your opponent was the fourth Mexican woman to play a slam. What do you think of that accomplishment? What are the challenges you have had to face coming from a country that is not a tennis super power?

ELINA SVITOLINA: I think it gives you a lot of confidence. Even I think for Renata today, I think in the end she should be really proud of her performance today. She is from the country with not lots of support but not so many players who achieved really big things.

I think it gives you more pride. It gives you more confidence of yourself, I think. It's something that you are always dreaming about. For me, it is little bit different because we have really strong young girls, also we have Andrei Medvedev who played really good, played the final here. My goal is to beat his result (smiling). That's why it's little bit different.

But in the end I think you should be really proud of your effort that you are the first one to reach the high results, better ever that was reached from your country.

Q. You've always been one of the players that's been known for your professionalism, focus on court, mental game. Have you ever used the help of a sports psychologist to get where you are, or has it been more a journey of self-discovery?

ELINA SVITOLINA: Thank you very much for the compliments.

It's very important, mental part is very, very important. Me, luckily from the young age I understood that very early. My mom always been big motivation for me and giving me lots of motivation, lots of support. I think she educated me in a tough way.

I think it's coming from my family, as well. They've been in sport for many years. They followed my tennis career from the beginning, so they know where to push, where to try to be nicer to me after tough losses (smiling). I think it's coming partly from my family.

Regarding working with someone, I worked with only one sports specialist. To be fair, I got few things that really helped me to calm myself down on the tough moments, tough matches. But the rest, it was little bit too much, I would say, because tennis is little bit different sport. It's very long, three hours on the court, one hour and a half on the court. It's a mixture of different things so you have to really pick something that works for you, find your own way. Also lots of books I read, they really helped me to shape my mind, my toughness, as well.

I think the most important in the end is to find your balance within yourself, to play well, to be aggressive, to be calm in the same time.

Q. Where were you during the lockdown? What was the most difficult part of the lockdown for you?

ELINA SVITOLINA: I was in Monte-Carlo for a big chunk of time there. I was trying to stay busy. It was not easy. But in the same time I think everyone needed this kind of time to refresh.

It was little bit tough because when I won my tournament in Monterrey, I just was coming back, playing really good tennis. Then everything stopped.

In this way, for sure I would love to play Indian Wells when I was really feeling much better with my game. But in the same time I really treasured this time, the six months that we were off, were enjoying just a normal life being away. This was really changed my maybe mind little bit of just being a better person and have different priorities, as well.

Q. The top players around the world are always looking at the best ways to achieve success. Some people like to make changes to their team, others like to have a team they've had with them a long time. Someone who has been with you since a very early age is your pet dog, Bobik. Is Bobik still with you? If so, how much luck can he give you over the next two weeks at Roland Garros?

ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, it's a really good question. Actually very sad for me because in 2018 I lost him. I forgot him in the room. It was very sad (tear up). Sorry. I lost him. Yeah, it's like this. It's a toy, but he was my talisman, my lucky charm.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
101989-1-1004 2020-09-30 11:46:00 GMT

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