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. Quite a comfortable win for you.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I’m happy that it was in two sets because before we had such a tough battles. Physically it was very tough.
Yeah, I’m very happy that I saved little bit more energy on my next opponent.
Q. How do you explain how smoothly it went for you this time?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, we was I think both little bit struggling with conditions today. The ball was flying a lot. Me or her was a little bit, you know, up and down.
But in the end, I was really pleased the way I was playing the tough moments. You know, there’s one, two points that decided the first set. Second set, also to come back into the match…
Yeah, there was couple of points that I was really happy the way I handle it.
Q. Your next opponent has been saving match points. When you’re facing someone that’s fearless, how do you approach the match?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, everyone fears something. There is not really ‘fearless’. There’s not such a thing like that.
Yeah, she had tough road to the final. I will just try to focus on my game, you know, as I did before. She produce good game. But I will try to be ready and, yeah, just take next opponent on.
Q. Do you look at this final differently because it’s a defending final for you?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I don’t look any different because this is one more final, one more chance to win the title, one more chance to learn something. Even if it’s not going to go well, I’ll have lots of experience from this.
All the finals I lost in the past gave me huge amount of experience and definitely helped me to win some of them last year, this year.
So, you know, for me it’s very important just to go out there and give 100%, then see how it goes.
Q. When you were younger and coming up, what did you enjoy most about taking on a seeded player, someone like yourself now who is expected to win? What was the best part of that?
ELINA SVITOLINA: The best part was when you really can see that you are starting to match their game. Of course, you know, they have more experience, probably some moments they’re playing better. But definitely, you know, you have to realize that you are learning a lot after these kind of matches when you’re playing a better player.
Yeah, it’s a chance to shine, I can say that, because you’re playing someone higher than you. Definitely it’s a good chance to win.
Q. Do you remember how you felt going into the Dubai final last year?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I don’t remember actually much because I played couple of finals afterwards.
I was definitely a little nervous because I had much more things, you know, like I was reaching top 10 for the first time, it was my biggest title at the time. This time is different.
Still I’m very excited for the final. But still it is different.
Q. How different is this experience to Baku?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Baku was ages ago. Baku, oh my God. I don’t remember. Did I defend the title?
Q. You did.
ELINA SVITOLINA: I don’t remember anything actually. I don’t even remember I defended the title. I remember I won.
Q. ’13 and ’14.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, yeah, it’s going to be different definitely.
Q. You played Angie at the same stage last year here. She wasn’t in the best place. Now she’s making her way back. How do you feel her game at the moment?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I was actually practicing with her in Doha the first day I arrived. I felt she’s back into the game. She strikes the ball well. I always played against her when she was playing good tennis. Last time we played, it was in Germany when she was extremely motivated to bring a point to the team. It was a massive fight from both of us.
It always felt different, but in the same time I notice a couple of things that I been working on. Really I can see that they are working well.
Q. On your right hand I think there is a sign, a tattoo. Is it an Indian sign?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yes.
Q. Is there any particular reason? Do you know what it means?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, obviously I know if I have on my hand (smiling).
It’s a little bit private, yeah. It’s private. But I know what it means. I’m sorry, but…
Q. Do you have any memorable match for you when you were the underdog facing someone big?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I think the biggest challenge was for me when I was playing Olympics, when I was playing against Serena. No one really expected I could beat her. Then I had the chance. In the match I realized I had a chance to beat her. That was tough.
For me going through that moment, you know, even now I remember the atmosphere, I remember all the thoughts I had. It was a massive, massive deal for me definitely.
But there’s not so many players the same as Serena. There is no one. Obviously playing against Serena, it was amazing. Winning that match brought me definitely lot of confidence. Yeah, just was moving forward.
Q. Did you ever speak to her after that, not about the match, but in general?
ELINA SVITOLINA: No, we didn’t speak about the match. It’s a little bit out there. Maybe a few words. I don’t remember actually, no.
I have nothing against her. I always so much respect, such an amazing, amazing player that I have a chance to play against her. I have so much respect, yeah, a lot.