Taipei, TWTA 125K Series, Taipei OEC Open, 125 000 USD, hard, indoor: 1R, Belinda BENCIC (SUI) - Ying-Ying DUAN (CHN) 7-6(4) 6-4, 2R: Priscilla HON (AUS) 7-6(5) 6-2, QF: Jil TEICHMANN (SUI) 6-4 7-5, SF: Viktorija GOLUBIC (SUI) 6-2 6-4, F: Arantxa RUS (NED) ?-?; Benicarlo, Spain, ITF Womens Circuit, V CIRCUITO WTA ASTELLON SPAIN, 15 000 USD, clay, outdoor: 1R, Vivien JUHASZOVA (SVK) - Snehadevi S REDDY (IND) 6-1 6-1, 2R: Noelia BOUZO ZANOTTI (ESP) 7-5 6-4, QF: Yvonne CAVALLE-REIMERS (ESP) 6-7(5) 7-6(3) 6-3, SF: Ekaterine GORGODZE (GEO) 2-6 7-6(1) 6-3, F: Ines IBBOU (ALG) ?-?; Haifa, Israel, junior ITF, HAP International Junior Tournament, Grade 2, hard, outdoor: 1R, Lenka STARA (SVK) - BYE, 2R: Anna ARKADIANOU (GRE) 1-6 3-6; 1R, Nina STANKOVSKA (SVK) - Ksenia BRICH (BLR) 6-3 6-3, 2R: Selin OVUNC (TUR) 6-1 7-6(6), 3R: Taisya PACHKALEVA (RUS) ?-?.

Taipei, TWTA 125K Series, Taipei OEC Open, 125 000 USD, hard, indoor: 1R, Belinda BENCIC (SUI) - Ying-Ying DUAN (CHN) 7-6(4) 6-4, 2R: Priscilla HON (AUS) 7-6(5) 6-2, QF: Jil TEICHMANN (SUI) 6-4 7-5, SF: Viktorija GOLUBIC (SUI) 6-2 6-4, F: Arantxa RUS (NED) ?-?; Benicarlo, Spain, ITF Womens Circuit, V CIRCUITO WTA ASTELLON SPAIN, 15 000 USD, clay, outdoor: 1R, Vivien JUHASZOVA (SVK) - Snehadevi S REDDY (IND) 6-1 6-1, 2R: Noelia BOUZO ZANOTTI (ESP) 7-5 6-4, QF: Yvonne CAVALLE-REIMERS (ESP) 6-7(5) 7-6(3) 6-3, SF: Ekaterine GORGODZE (GEO) 2-6 7-6(1) 6-3, F: Ines IBBOU (ALG) ?-?; Haifa, Israel, junior ITF, HAP International Junior Tournament, Grade 2, hard, outdoor: 1R, Lenka STARA (SVK) - BYE, 2R: Anna ARKADIANOU (GRE) 1-6 3-6; 1R, Nina STANKOVSKA (SVK) - Ksenia BRICH (BLR) 6-3 6-3, 2R: Selin OVUNC (TUR) 6-1 7-6(6), 3R: Taisya PACHKALEVA (RUS) ?-?.

Elina Svitolina eases into French Open second round at Roland Garros

The fifth seed and the member of the EMPIRE Tennis Academy Elina Svitolina, one of the pre-tournament favourites after winning the Rome claycourt tournament, moved swiftly into the second round of the Roland Garros on Tuesday, easing through a potentially tricky encounter against Yaroslava Shvedova with a 6-4, 6-3 victory.

How do you think that went for you?
"I think it was quite tough match for the first round to have Yaroslava was quite tough draw. I lost to her in Wimbledon last year, but I knew I'm playing much better, physically I'm much better, stronger. That's why I had a little bit more confidence than the last time.For me was, yeah, I was a bit nervous, but in the same time calm and tried to play my tennis and bring my game today."

You said on court that you're happy with how you dealt with the pressure. How did that feel? This is probably the first time you have come into a slam being, you know, one of the big names, I guess.
"Yes, the first time. So that's why, you know, in one hand I have confidence, a lot of confidence, more than probably anyone else, because I won so many matches, and in the other hand, there is a pressure, there is expectations from me. But, you know, I tried to don't have anything on my mind. Just go out there and do what I do the best, you know, play my game, be really focused on what I have to do. Yeah, keep it simple. That's the way I'm trying to, yeah, to do today."

On your way up the ranking, was there, like, a decisive moment where you realized that you could be really one of the top players of the world?
"I think there is no such thing just like in one moment that you realize. I think it's just build from tough lose, from good wins. There is nothing that, you know, at the one moment you realize, okay, I'm a good player. There is no such a thing like this. There is lots of work behind this. There is lots of tears. There is lots of things, you know, that your team are helping you to go through. That's why for me it's, yeah, it's very important to have my team around me and to find a good team which gonna help me in the tough moments. So it just builds, you know, from so many things."

Back to today's match, is it quite tricky to get into a rhythm? She was playing a lot of dropshots, paces and slices.
"Actually, I was expecting these kind of things from her, because she's amazing doubles player. She always have good hands. So I was expecting her to go to the net a lot, to the dropshots, and, yeah, I was expecting some things like this, and I was pretty calm. Yeah, it was going well. I think in the important moments I won all the points where I was under pressure when she was at the net."

You sometimes got through a lot of emotions in matches. Sometimes you're really calm. Other times the grunt comes out. You said there have been a lot of tears on the way. Do you consider yourself an emotional player, in a way?
"Yeah, you know, we are human beings, so we always have different days. Because we are obviously on court and so many people are watching, so we are like under the loop. So for us it's more obvious what's happening with us today, and, yeah, I don't really think about it so much. I try to fight through pain, through things which are not going well today. I try to always find a way. And if today is not my day, then I just, you know, shake the hand and say, you know, It's probably your day today. For me, I don't really think about it so much. Of course sometimes I maybe try to stay more calm, but it's only about the decisions for me. I think everything is fine. I don't overdo it."

I think in the past you said that people maybe consider your game defensive. Do you feel like before these recent results you were underrated compared with the other players, maybe the Americans or players from bigger countries who got more of the spotlight?
"Yeah, of course, I felt it a lot because I needed to be in top probably 15 to be under same spotlight as probably some players who was top 30 but from a country who has, who tennis is more popular in their country. But for me I know I accept it. I just decided that I'm going to work even harder, that I need to be more focused on my job. I know that probably I'm not from the country that is with tennis, but, you know, I decided that I'm just gonna be the best and then I'm going to get my attention (smiling)."

After Rome you said you wanted to relax and wanted to take two, three days off in Paris, get here, spend time with your friends. But you're also known really as a hard worker. How easy was it for you to just relax and maybe not do much with tennis? Have you been able to relax before this tournament?
"Yeah, I had a couple days off, and then I went back to train. Then again I took one day off, because probably I was too excited for this tournament, and I was a bit too emotional. So with my team I decided to take one more day off. I think it worked pretty good, because I played only on Tuesday. So I had time to prepare. I played some points with girls. I also trained just with my hitting partner. So I had time, you know, to prepare, and I think, yeah, I'm ready. And mentally, it's going well. I'm rested and ready to fight and, yeah, just for next challenge."

Five years ago you were among the reserves in the Tournament of Champions in Sofia. Pironkova is next for you. What do you expect from the game on Thursday?
"Yeah, I know she's back from injury. Yeah, she won a good match today. I didn't see, because I was playing. But Barthel is playing really good this year. It's gonna be tough match. I think she can bring very good tennis, but, yeah, I think I'm more confident, won more matches, so I think I will just do my thing on court, and then see how it goes. Yeah, for me, the most important thing is to play my game, and then doesn't really matter who is in the other side."

Photos by: 
Ivan Kopčáni, www.empire-tennis-academy.com

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