Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Very tough match, wasn’t it? Especially the second set?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah. I let her into the match a little bit. Didn’t go for my shots in the end.
And it was very tough with rain and then was in and out all the time (smiling). So because I was in a good position at that time, so for me it was — I don’t think it was a good thing to stop so many times.
I was trying to stay focused, and in the end, I’m really happy that I could finish it. Even in tiebreak, you know, the win is the win.
Q. You said you kind of let her back into the match a little bit. The tiebreak you seemed to maybe talk to yourself right before that, you had like six straight winners or something like that in the tiebreak. It was quite impressive. What were you telling yourself before the breaker?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I was just trying to stay with the ball, stay in the moment, because, you know, she was struggling a little bit with the knee, and then she played again and then she again didn’t run for all the balls.
It was very, very strange for me, so I couldn’t really get my rhythm. That’s why it was very difficult for me to focus and to play all the time my best.
Of course, I was trying to focus on myself, but it was very tough today. Obviously semifinal, extra pressure. Towards the end it’s always tough.
Q. You have beaten Angie three times in the last few months. Is there something about her game that you actually like?
ELINA SVITOLINA: No, I don’t think there is something about it. I mean, I play always — we always play good matches together. So there’s nothing really. It’s just — I don’t know why it’s like this (smiling).
Q. 11-match winning streak, starting from Taipei. Is this probably the best streak of tennis you have had for quite some time?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, of course. And I’m really happy the way I play now. It was up and down for me, but towards the end of 2016 it was really consistent results, and I was really consistent with my game. So I’m really happy that I’m more mature now with my game, and hopefully I will try to stay focused.
Of course the first thing is it’s important to stay healthy, is the most important for an athlete. Hopefully it will be good, and I will stay — of course, there will be up-and-down, but the only thing matters is how you come back from the downs.
Q. She was obviously struggling with her leg. Does that play on your mind at all?
ELINA SVITOLINA: As I said, you know, she was playing good, and then — you know, she started the match very good. Everything was fine. That’s why I was trying to stay focused on every point, every game.
And then she was a little bit struggling in the second set, and then she came back again and then again didn’t go for the shots.
So that’s why everything was roller coaster, you know. And that’s why I told myself, you know, focus on your game, on what you can do. I think it helped me a lot.
Hopefully there is nothing serious with her knee, but it’s always tough when there is a little pain. Hopefully she comes back strong and playing well again.
Q. Caroline tomorrow.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, it’s gonna be final (smiling). Now I know what to expect from the final and just try to stay the same mindset as I am now and been playing good for 11 matches (smiling).
So I will try to focus as I did for all those matches and bring my game and see how it goes.
Q. What do you remember of the Miami match last year? It was a pretty tight one, quite a dramatic one against Caroline. Do you take anything out of that match? What do you remember of it?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I remember it was very, very late at night, because we played, like, second match after 8:30 or something like this. It was very late.
It was quite long match, as well. But I think I will sit down with my team and speak about it, go through all the things what I have to do tomorrow.
But main thing is just to bring my game tomorrow, and hopefully I will recover well and be ready for the fight and for the final, because you never know what you will get in the final. I’m looking forward to it.
Q. Where do you see, when you talk about maturity and your game evolving over the last few months, I mean, where do you see it on the court? What is different about you or your game now compared to even, you know, last year in Miami, let’s say?
ELINA SVITOLINA: The way I think on the court, when there is down time, I don’t focus on it so much. So I try to recover quicker and look forward all the time, next point, next point, and just try to focus more on my game, because, you know, you can do something only from your side. You know, what you cannot change, you cannot change, you cannot do anything about it.
So you don’t know how good a player will feel today. The only thing you can control is yourself. So I try to do this.