On July 13, Elina Svitolina faced Markéta Vondroušová in the semifinals of Wimbledon, but failed to beat the Czech tennis player - 3-6, 3-6.
Before the tournament started, few would have expected the 2020 Olympic bronze medalist to rise so high in the rankings. Her participation was only possible thanks to a wild card from the organizers, but after such a successful performance on the green courts, she will definitely move up the rankings - before the start of the tournament, Elina was ranked 76th.Bet on tennis with 1xBet
Telecomasia.net will tell about the Ukrainian athlete who returned to the elite sport only at the end of last year after giving birth.
Elina's brother was supposed to become a tennis player in the family
Elina was born in Odessa on September 2, 1994. The parents of the future tennis player were also practicing sports: her mother was a swimmer, her father was a wrestler. The parents expected that Elina's older brother Yulian would devote his life to professional sports - the Svitolins started training the boy from childhood. Every morning, the family took Yulian to the court, while Elina cheered on her older brother. However, the boy did not perform well. At the age of 5, Elina took a racket and said she wanted to practice tennis.
"Our oldest son, Yulian, used to play tennis, and we spent a lot of time with him on the court, and then at home we discussed his game when he played in tournaments. And she heard that the whole family was involved except for her, and so it must be very important. And when she was involved in this important business, she had this attitude that now she must seriously pursue it," - recalled Elina's mother in one of the interviews.
Moving to Kharkiv and becoming the patron of a businessman
The girl managed to achieve some success already in her teens, and the family had to move to Kharkov to find some new perspectives for the growing tennis player. Businessman Yuri Sapronov, who saw Elina's talent, suggested that the Svitolina family change their place of residence.Bet with 1xBet
The man took the girl under his wing, covered her expenses and supported her in every way possible at competitions. The businessman wanted to prove to the world that Ukraine was capable of raising top players, as tennis was poorly developed in the country at that time.
First steps in her professional career
Already in 2008, Elina Svitolina made her debut at the local ITF tournament, where the girl defeated Russian Valentina Ivakhnenko.
Two years later, Elina participated in the Junior Championships in France and later joined the national team, where she made her debut at the Junior Wimbledon tournament. Then Elina managed to reach the final.Bet on tennis with 1xBet
At the age of 18, in 2013, the athlete reached her first hundred victories. That year, Elina participated in the Australian Open for the first time, but she didn't make much progress. The athlete lost in the very first round.
At her first Olympics the Ukrainian tennis player beat Serena Williams, and at her second Olympics she won a bronze medal
Elina did not give up and continued to win more titles. In 2016, the Ukrainian athlete celebrated her 200th victory.
That same year, Svitolina sensationally defeated world number one and four-time Olympic champion Serena Williams in the round of 16 at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics. It was the fifth time the two players had met. The bookmakers made Serena Williams the overwhelming favorite for the match, as the world number one had won all four previous encounters, losing only one set to the Ukrainian.
"There was an incredible atmosphere at the match. I played great. I was still young, I didn't have a lot of big wins back then. [Beating Serena] gave me confidence that I can compete with the best tennis players," Svitolina said of the match.
In her second Olympics, she advanced even further, taking home the bronze medal. Currently, Elina is the winner of 17 WTA tournaments, the winner of the WTA Finals tournament and a former world number three. Surely, after such a brilliant performance at Wimbledon, her greatest achievements are yet to come!
Svitolina's romantic life
The Ukrainian tennis player was in a relationship with the famous English cricketer Reece Topley for more than a year. The athletes met in the gym in 2016. The young people thought that their relationship should not get in the way of their professional careers.Bet on tennis with 1xBet
"I respect Reece's sport. It's very important to me that he can be 100% involved in what he's doing and I kind of stay in the background. Right now we're still very young and we can build our careers and make the most of it because this is the right time to do it. We can enjoy life and all that when we're older. But ever since we met, tennis has come first for me and so has cricket for Reece. We understand that very well," said Elina about her relationship with the Briton.
However, the athletes' affair did not last long - in 2018, Svitolina announced that she is no longer in a relationship with Reece Topley.
In 2019, the world of tennis welcomed another star couple
The next year after the breakup with Topley, there were rumors about Elina Svitolina's relationship with the famous French tennis player Gaël Monfils - the athletes were often seen together. The young people knew each other for a long time and often met at tournaments. Their romance began to blossom when the Ukrainian and the Frenchman met in Paris in 2018.
"I've known Gaël for a long time, we regularly played the same tournaments. But we communicated very little: he knew I was in a long-term relationship. After winning the last tournament, I went to celebrate with my friends in Paris. I posted a photo and Gaël texted me. We met and never parted again. It was an amazing coincidence that we were in Paris at the same time, because I live in London and Gaël lives in Geneva," - said the Ukrainian athlete.
The young people immediately introduced each other to their families. Elina said that Gaël learned several expressions and words in her mother tongue, and her grandmother made the Frenchman addicted to Ukrainian borscht.
Breakup, wedding and the birth of a child
In 2021, the couple shocked their fans by announcing that they were taking a break to "help each other live as joyful and fulfilling a life as possible". However, a month and a half later, the athletes got back together, and a little later, the world was informed of the happy news - Monfils proposed marriage to his girlfriend.
A lavish wedding took place in Geneva. Elina wore an elegant suit with a lilac trail. After the marriage, the tennis player changed her surname in social networks to Monfis, but in one of the interviews she said that she wanted to keep her former surname - Svitolina - until the end of her professional career.
In 2022, the star couple welcomed a lovely daughter into the world - the athletes named the girl Sky. Gaël was present at the birth to support his beloved.
Just a few months after the birth, Elina began training, and six months later she returned to tournaments.
Now the family lives in London. In one of the interviews Svitolina said that she chose this city to live because it has perfect conditions for training. So the Wimbledon tournament in the suburbs of London was a home tournament for her.
The couple has a joint page on social networks with adorable family photos. They have over 100,000 followers.
Svitolina's charity foundation
In addition to competing in international tournaments, Elina Svitolina also does charity work. The athlete owns a foundation that raises funds for the development of tennis in Ukraine.
"I believe that talented young people need comprehensive support. Tennis has given me a lot, so now it's my turn to help, to share my experience and knowledge and to open new opportunities for those who are just starting out. I want to open the door to great sport for children in my home country of Ukraine and maybe create new Ukrainian stars on the world stage," said Svitolina.
Svitolina - on the situation in the country and the attitude towards Russian athletes
Elina Svitolina has repeatedly shared her thoughts and experiences regarding the war Ukraine. The athlete admits that it is extremely important for her to remind the world about the current situation in Ukraine.
For a year and a half, she has been calling for Russian and Belarusian tennis players to be banned from tournaments.
Last year, Wimbledon did not allow Russians and Belarusians to play on its courts. Here's how the Ukrainian reacted when organizers decided to open the tournament to everyone this year.
"We, Ukrainians, do not understand the decision of the ATP and WTA not to disqualify Russian and Belarusian players. Wimbledon fell under the pressure of these two bodies and in the end had to give up - it's sad," the athlete said in April.
Elina herself does not take part in the traditional handshake with players when there is a Russian or Belarusian on the other side of the net. That's what happened at Wimbledon when Svitolina faced Belarusian Victoria Azarenka.
Despite all the factors outside the sport, Elina continues to show her high level. Less than a year ago, she gave birth to a daughter, and now she is this close to her first Grand Slam final. With this kind of performance, she will definitely have more chances to shine.