Paris, May 23: Elina Svitolina heads into the French Open with no expectations after a 2019 season that has so far been hampered by injuries.
The world number nine went into last year's tournament at Roland Garros as one of the favourites, having been seeded fourth, but lost in the third round to Mihaela Buzarnescu.
She won the WTA Finals at the end of 2018 but was struggling with shoulder and neck issues at the Australian Open, where she was beaten by eventual champion Naomi Osaka in the last eight.
That run was followed by semi-final appearances in Doha, Dubai and Indian Wells but, after taking a break due to knee pain following a second-round defeat in Miami, Svitolina has subsequently suffered back-to-back losses to Pauline Parmentier and Victoria Azarenka in Madrid and Rome.
As such Svitolina is not considered among the likely contenders for the title in south-west Paris, and that suits the Ukrainian perfectly.
"It's not been easy but I am trying to take one day at a time. I try to do all the recovery and preparation with my team and we don't rush anything," Svitolina told Omnisport, speaking courtesy of Hublot.
"For me, I have no expectations for this slam, I will just take one match at a time and see how it goes but it's important just to focus on what you can do.
"I cannot say that clay is one of my favourites but I love to play on clay, I played on it when I was growing up when I was young.
"But I've been playing well on the hard courts as well so I just need time to prepare, to adjust and for me it's important to have enough time to practice and have confidence in it."