Elina Svitolina is a rare breed in women’s tennis. In a scene where there is a lot of inconsistency among top players, she has maintained a consistent level of performance over the years being among the top players.
She is currently ranked number 5 in the WTA rankings. However, critics say that she fails to perform in the big leagues. That’s why she still lacks any grand slam title in her stats which remains a sore thumb.
Nobody can deny that she has displayed a tremendous amount of growth. She built her career from scratch and ensured that opportunities didn’t go away once they arrived. On Behind the racquet podcast, Svitolina explained her rise to the top.
Elina Svitolina explained what it takes to transition from the Junior tour to the professional tour. It’s certainly not an easy journey.
“When I was transitioning from juniors to the professional circuit, there was a lot of doubt. People expect you to improve more quickly and you compare yourself to other players who are the same age but ranked higher. You have this negative voice in your head but you have to put doubts aside and work hard every single day because in tennis, everyone works hard but only a few players show consistent results. It’s very important to pave your own way and this will help you overcome tough moments.”
She went on to explain the role of her parents. According to her, the involvement of parents in your career is both a pro and a con. Interestingly, both her parents come from sports backgrounds. Her father Mikhaylo Svitolin was a former wrestler while her mother Olena Svitolina was a former rower professionally. They naturally took a deep interest in her tennis career which was showing promise.
“I think the toughest thing was that my parents were involved in my tennis. No matter when or where I played, they always followed. Parents who are really involved in tennis, especially when tennis is your career, add a lot of extra pressure. The mixture of pressure from my family and my own expectations was really tough, especially when I was losing first round and struggling to improve my ranking. My parents wanted me to win every single match. At a certain point, it’s important for every parent to step away and my parents realized this five years ago. It was very important for me to establish independence. When my parents stopped traveling with me, I didn’t count on them anymore. If I lost a match, I only blamed myself and through this process, I found my own way.”
Elina Svitolina surely has a lot of potential and is probably a future world number one. However, age passes quickly and she will have to ensure that her glory days come sooner rather than later. Her current age of 26 is the perfect time for her to hit the purple patch and claim her much deserved spot atop the women’s tennis rankings.