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Wimbledon 2023: Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, transfigured by the birth of her daughter and by the war, no longer fears anyone

Wimbledon 2023: Ukrainian Elina Svitolina, transfigured by the birth of her daughter and by the war, no longer fears anyone

It confirms its return to the highest world level. Nine months after the birth of her daughter, Elina Svitolina ticks the boxes one after the other. After returning to the circuit in April, then winning a title in Strasbourg (WTA 250) at the end of May, and reaching the quarterfinals of Roland-Garros in June, the Ukrainian, 76th in the world, joined, on Tuesday July 11, the Wimbledon semi-finals. A victory with manner against the Polish Iga Swiatek, world number one, in three sets (7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-2) and nearly three hours of combat, confirmed this return to “grass “.

A victory that means a lot for Elina Svitolina, she who had already reached the last four in London in 2019. “I really didn’t expect to be in the semi-finals. I know a lot of people in Ukraine are watching me. I received a huge number of messages in the last round. I haven’t checked my phone yet today, but I think there will be many more. I am happy to be able to bring some happiness to the Ukrainian people”, reacted the player at a press conference.

“No more time to waste”

Since her return to the circuit, Elina Svitolina has not “no more time to waste”. “Right now I’m just telling myself that I don’t know how many more years I’m going to be able to play. I have to go for it. Today, for example, I was walking down the path to Center Court, and I saw the weight of history. You realize that you train for these kinds of moments. I thought to myself, ‘Come on, give your best, go for it!’ It really helped me and calmed me down a bit.” confided the native of Odessa.

If Elina Svitolina is in a hurry, she has also been in a new process for several months. In March, she announced that she was working with Raemon Sluiter, ex-coach of former world number 4 Kiki Bertens. A new collaboration that has been a “click” for her.

“With Raemon, even before I came back, we talked a lot about my style of play, and different players, how I should train to improve certain things here and there. It all fell into place. And so far it’s been going well.”

Elina Svitolina, 76th in the world

at a press conference

Above all, Elina Svitolina feels and demonstrates an extra soul on the pitch, which is no stranger to the current geopolitical context. “The war made me stronger, especially mentally. I put things into perspective a lot more. I am calmer. I also think that because I just started playing again, I have a different pressure. Of course I want to win. I have this motivation, a huge motivation, to get back to the top. But I think having a child and the war made me a different person. I see things a little differently.” explained the one who is very involved in the media in the conflict.

In the next round, Elina Svitolina will have to get the better of the Czech Marketa Vondrousova (42nd in the world) in order to qualify for the first time in her career in the final of a Grand Slam tournament.. “I just try to take it one game at a time. I want to continue on this path. I have a big challenge ahead of me. But I’m really proud of the way I played against tough opponents.” Victories that allowed him to mark his own history and carry high the colors of Ukraine.

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