“Gave Me This Fighting Spirit”: Elina Svitolina Reflects on Her Long Rocky Road to Becoming a Tennis Player

Published 01/18/2021, 5:51 AM EST
PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 26: Elina Svitolina of Ukraine celebrates victory in her ladies singles first round match against Venus Williams of The United States during Day one of the 2019 French Open at Roland Garros on May 26, 2019 in Paris, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)


Former World No. 3 Elina Svitolina has made constant progress in her growth as a player. From the 2017 season onwards, there were performances that highlighted her improvement. She began the season by beating then World No. 1 Angelique Kerber during their match at Brisbane. Elina proceeded to win the Taiwan Open, brushing aside the four match points she faced during the tournament. 

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She ended that year as the third-best player in the world. In the following year, Elina won the biggest title of her career, the WTA Finals. During her journey in the event, she won all her group stage matches before clinching the title. She beat the likes of Caroline Wozniacki, Karolina Pliskova, and Petra Kvitova during the tournament. 

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 06: Elina Svitolina of Ukraine celebrates winning the WomenÕs Final match against Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Bulgaria during day seven of the 2018 Brisbane International at Pat Rafter Arena on January 6, 2018 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Elina Svitolina: Was by the courts all the time

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Recently, the Ukrainian star paid emphasis on the early struggles she faced in her journey to becoming a professional tennis player. She said, “I was just by the courts all the time. When I was 10-11 years old, I started winning national tournaments…. My parents were saying that staying with Sam (brother) is not going to help my tennis. We were thinking to go somewhere abroad where I can play and compete with other stronger players.”

Svitolina: Away from home from the age of 12 or 13

Elina also reflected back on the sacrifice she made to leave home and go abroad. However, she did feel the need to give it everything, and as of today, it has all paid off. She said, “It was not easy because I was away from home from the age of 12-13. But we just agreed that we were going to try and just give our best shot… Looking back at what I went through, it gave me you know this fighting spirit that I have.”

 The 2-Time quarterfinalist at the Australian Open is currently in quarantine in Melbourne, where players are preparing themselves for the first major of the new season. 

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Rohan Kollare

699 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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