Svitolina says best preparation on clay in years not adding to pressure
LONDON: Elina Svitolina said her extended preparation for the claycourt swing after opting out of the U.S. Open was not a guarantee of success and she will not put herself under pressure ahead of the French Open this month.
Svitolina beat Marie Bouzkova to seize her first title of the season at the Monterrey Open in Mexico in March before the season was suspended due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
The world number six then joined a number of top players in opting out of the U.S. Open and made her return at the Italian Open on Wednesday, where she beat Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3 7-6(4).
"For sure, it was different as I had probably the longest preparation ever for the claycourt (season)... To be fair I feel quite comfortable or at least I'm giving myself a good chance to move better," two-times Rome winner Svitolina told reporters. "I try to not put so much pressure on myself, that others were not able to play on clay, because it's important to focus on your game and try to play as good as you can.