BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - No one won more WTA titles in 2017 than Elina Svitolina, so of course the 23-year-old would kick off her 2018 season with yet another trophy. En route to her 10th career title, the Ukrainian defeated Carla Suarez Navarro, Ana Konjuh, Johanna Konta, and Karolina Pliskova, before rolling past surprise finalist Aliaksandra Sasnovich to win the Brisbane International on Saturday. The title assured Svitolina the No.4 ranking on Monday and a Top 4 seeding at the Australian Open, which begins on January 15th.
"I always been playing well in Brisbane, but two semifinals and never further," Svitolina said on the WTA Insider Podcast. "I was a little bit unlucky before. This time I was playing well. I had a tough draw but I'm very happy with the way I was handling the tough moments and the things I was working on in the off-season was really showing that I'm on the right path. I'm just really happy that I could win this week and play well."
Svitolina joins the WTA Insider Podcast for the first Champions Corner of the new season to discuss her off-season preparation, how her game meshes in Australia, and tells the story of the one time she played a match on zero sleep. It wasn't a complete disaster!
Listen to Svitolina's full interview below:
On her goals for 2018:
For this year there are two or three goals. The first one is to stay healthy. That's definitely the main goal because if you're not healthy you cannot perform 100%. Especially at the high level in tennis. The second one is to be mentally fresh because it's very important. If you're not fresh your consistency drops and again, you're not there and you cannot play all the tournaments at a high level. Tha's pretty much it. To use what I'm working on, be there 100%, and do the job 100%.
On how she stays mentally fresh:
I try always to have small breaks, even for a weekend, I try to go somewhere I don't see tennis courts. For me, it's very important. Sometimes if I have two days I go to Spain or France just to reset my mind and it really helps me.
On her relationship with the Australian Open:
I really like this Grand Slam because it's very chilled. Sometimes I don't even feel that I'm at a Grand Slam - I have to remind myself that I'm actually playing a Grand Slam! That's why it can be tough mentally.