Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
E. SVITOLINA/M. Sherif
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Obviously you maybe didn’t know too much about her. What was it like playing her and how pleased were you with your game today?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Yes, sure I didn’t know much about Mayar, but I saw a couple of videos on YouTube. I saw I think a few games when she played against Pliskova in Roland Garros. It was the very first time when I played her. She played a great match then.
I was expecting a tough match because she has spin, she’s spinning a lot the serve as well. She has a very different game style. I was expecting her to fight also till the very last point, as it happened in the second set.
All my expectations was good (smiling). Yeah, I was just happy with the way I played today.
Q. Obviously it’s a big opportunity to face you, as she’s not used to playing too many top players. What did you make of how she played? She seemed to be too aggressive at times. What did you make of her level?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, I think she played not a bad match. I guess she didn’t play so many matches on high level. That’s kind of expected for the player who are just new on tour.
But I think she has a good potential to improve. She has potential to play well. She has a good strokes. I think she can play a very good tennis. She just needs a little bit of experience and to set her game.
Q. I wanted to ask you, you spoke at the end of last season about injuries, not being able to play as much as you want to. Now that you’re out of the top 10 for the first time in four years, how do you feel? Do you feel any pressure in terms of ranking, the position that you occupy in the game?
ELINA SVITOLINA: Well, as we know women’s tennis right now is very open. Any ranking kind of player can play great tournament, great matches. Everyone is pretty solid. Lots of people have opportunities to have a big team with them, so I think now the women’s tennis is at the highest level.
For me it’s just important to play matches, to win any match that I step on the court, try to improve each day. I don’t have any, like, I need to improve three, four positions in the ranking. For me, I have a clear goal: just every day take my opportunity to play well, to practice well, and then I know that I can compete at the highest level.
For now I’m just enjoying each time that I get without injury, get a chance to play some tournaments like here.
Q. Obviously Sherif had quite a bit of a following today. Were you playing against the crowd a little bit as well?
ELINA SVITOLINA: I didn’t really notice that. I don’t really notice anymore these kind of things. I played in different kinds of situations. I just try to focus on my game and focus on myself.
Obviously she’s a good player. There will be some people for her. There will be some people for me. I just try to focus really on my match.
Q. Physically where do you see yourself right now? Are you getting better or are you still struggling?
ELINA SVITOLINA: No, I feel good. I had a good 10-day block in Vienna where I was training physically. I was playing a lot on the court as well. I had this time after Australia where I had to reset, I had to practice my strokes, my fitness, and I think right now I’m in a good position.
I just want to play matches, I just want to play tournaments like here, and play well.