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. She was giving you quite a match until she got injured.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, we already played against each other, and it was 7-6 in the third. I played against her in juniors, so obviously I know she’s a good player. She can deliver a good match.
That’s why I think, yeah, it was kind of expectable because she played already doubles, played singles. She got a little bit used to the conditions. I know I won lots of matches here previous years, but still I needed some time.
Q. Did you see her fall?
ELINA SVITOLINA: When?
Q. When she fell?
ELINA SVITOLINA: No, I didn’t really see. I was looking at the ball. I didn’t see what happened. I saw that she fell down, but didn’t see exactly what happened.
Q. Did she say anything to you up at the net?
ELINA SVITOLINA: She was just little bit hurt. But then she won two points in a row, so… But injury was her shoulder, I think.
Q. When you play a player like that who plays differently, you know her game pretty well, what are the particular challenges and adjustments you had to make out there for her game?
ELINA SVITOLINA: When I play anyone, I try to focus only on my game. Of course, I know little small details, know the way they hit the ball, the way they spin the ball. But in the end, I’m just thinking about myself, what I have to do, what I have to do with my shots.
Q. How do you feel about going to make tournament history if you can win it three in a row?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, this is a big motivation for me here. Today I didn’t really feel like in a match mood. I don’t know why. Was a bit struggling. In the end, we could say I had a very slow start. Hopefully, yeah, tomorrow will be better.
But definitely it’s a big motivation for me. When I was 0-2 down, I told myself, C’mon, you are here to make history of the tournament.
Q. You served and volleyed on set point, one of the set points, in the first set. Is that a tactic we’re going to see more from you over time, the serve and volley?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I did it already before. I start to come in quite a bit for past year. I worked a lot on my volleys. I think in Singapore also I finished a lot of points at the net.
Yeah, that’s what we been working on. I think it works quite well. Didn’t expect one-handed winner down the line, but still it’s working on the important points. That’s what matters.
Q. What do you like about being here, apart from winning the title?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I like that everything is organized very well. We don’t have to go far. Everything is here, the hotel. The food is very good. The courts are nice. Night sessions.
I have always good support, lots of Ukrainians are coming out to support me. It’s the city that you can relax if you want to don’t think so much. Then, you know, nice tennis matches here, so yeah.
Q. Do you like looking around the city?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Actually I came here for holidays, so I was already here few months ago.
Q. You went and visited the Queen Elizabeth boat. There’s a Ukrainian captain.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, was amazing because we met him in the elevator when we were going there. He told me that he’s a big fan of mine. His daughter also. They know my grandmother. I was shocked because they’re from the same city. I know the city is not that big, but he knows my grandmother.
Yeah, he told me also, like, some facts about that boat because he worked there. Unfortunately not any more because the boat is a hotel now. He told me that the mileage on the boat is like 18 times they went to the moon. I was shocked. It was the second shock after my grandmother (smiling).
Q. You could play Garbine or Zheng Saisai in your next round. Talk about the challenges of each of them.
ELINA SVITOLINA: Know both of them. Played against them. For me, I just want to have the mentality of not thinking so much who is in the other side of the net. I’m here to win matches, try to improve my game each match.
It’s not going to be easy. It’s not easy to defend the title, to step on court just in these conditions. With the wind, the ball is flying a little bit. I just want to focus on myself.