Elina Svitolina knows what she wants, and she wants to be the best. The Ukrainian is the defending champion in Brisbane where she met the media earlier this week and declared she wants to win a Slam and get to No. 1.
“My goals are always to win a Grand Slam, to become No. 1,” Svitolina said. “They are lifetime goals, and I try to stay really focused each tournament to win as many titles as I can. This is my ultimate goal each year, but I think the most important for me is to be healthy and to give myself a good chance to play well, because I know that when I’m healthy, when I’m ready mentally to compete, then I have, you know, a good chance to show my best tennis.”
The 24-year-old has been ranked as high as No. 3 and in range of No. 1, but winning a Grand Slam has been another matter. Of the players in the Top 8, only the 4th-ranked Svitolina has yet to reach a Grand Slam final or a semifinal. And she’s only made one quarterfinal in her last six Slams.
“There’s lots of work ahead of me, and in the Grand Slams,” Svitolina said. “I have to be ready to compete for two weeks and be healthy and, you know, there’s lots of challenges, lots of small challenges that you have to be ready for, and I think I’m moving in the right direction, so I don’t really want to put any pressure on myself that I have to do it, because, you know, it’s next step.
“I know that there will be chances where I will have to take and be ready to take them, and that’s, yeah, that’s what matters for me.”
Svitolina, who had a first round bye, will open her 2019 season against Aliaksandra Sasnovich. She closed 2018 by winning the biggest title of her career at the WTA Finals in Singapore.
“I won the Singapore and I played well,” she said. “I’ll just try to take this confidence into the matches and show my best tennis.”
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