Elina Svitolina

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Elina Svitolina
Еліна Світоліна
Svitolina RG16 (14) (26794846264).jpg
Svitolina at the 2016 French Open
Country (sports)  Ukraine
Residence Kharkiv, Ukraine
Born (1994-09-12) 12 September 1994 (age 23)
Odessa
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)[1]
Turned pro 2010
Plays Right-handed (two-handed backhand)
Coach Sébastien Mathieu (2013–2014)
Iain Hughes (2014–2016)
Justine Henin (2016)
Gabriel Urpi (2017)
Thierry Ascione (2017–)
Prize money US$ 7,371,378
Official website svitolina.com
Singles
Career record 285–154 (64.92%)
Career titles 9 WTA, 1 WTA 125K, 6 ITF
Highest ranking No. 3 (11 September 2017)
Current ranking No. 6 (30 October 2017)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open 3R (2014, 2015, 2017)
French Open QF (2015, 2017)
Wimbledon 4R (2017)
US Open 4R (2017)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals RR (2017)
Olympic Games QF (2016)
Doubles
Career record 47–55
Career titles 2 WTA, 2 ITF
Highest ranking No. 108 (4 May 2015)
Current ranking No. 432 (23 October 2017)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open 1R (2014, 2016)
French Open 2R (2014)
Wimbledon 2R (2016)
US Open 2R (2014)
Other doubles tournaments
Olympic Games 1R (2016)
Mixed doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open SF (2017)
French Open 2R (2015, 2017)
Wimbledon 3R (2014)
US Open 1R (2014, 2015)
Team competitions
Fed Cup 10–9
Hopman Cup F (2016)
Last updated on: 30 October 2017.

Elina Mykhaylivna Svitolina (Ukrainian: Еліна Михайлівна Світоліна, pronounced [ɛˈlʲinɑ sβiˈtɔlʲinɑ]; born 12 September 1994) is a Ukrainian professional tennis player. Having turned professional in 2010, she has reached her career-high ranking of world No. 3 on September 11, 2017.

Svitolina has won nine WTA singles titles, her biggest coming at Premier 5-level tournaments, the Dubai Tennis Championships, Italian Open and Canadian Open, all in 2017. At the 2015 French Open, she reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal where she was defeated by former champion Ana Ivanovic. In February 2017, after winning the title in Dubai, Svitolina made history by becoming the first Ukrainian woman to break into the top 10 rankings.

Svitolina has scored victories over the likes of Grand Slam champions Ivanovic, Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber, Garbiñe Muguruza and Petra Kvitová, defeating the latter in 2014 for her first top 10 win. She also has four wins over a world No. 1 to her name, three over Kerber and one over Williams. In doubles, Svitolina has won two titles, both at the İstanbul Cup, in 2014 and 2015. Her career-high ranking in doubles play is world No. 108, which she reached on May 4, 2015.

Personal life[edit]

Svitolina was born in Odessa to parents Mikhaylo Svitolin (a former wrestler) and Olena Svitolina (a former competitive draughts player).[2] She has a nine year older brother named Yulian.[3][2] When Svitolina was a child Yulian was playing tennis, Elina then also started to play tennis because she felt that her brother got a lot of attention because he played tennis and if she would start to play tennis too this would catch the attention of her father.[2] She started playing tennis at the age of five.[3][4] Svitolina and her family moved to Kharkiv when she was 13 years old to train after businessman Yuriy Sapronov had become her sponsor.[2] Sapronov had saw her play at one of his children's tournaments when she was aged 12.[2] She currently resides in Kharkiv. But Svitolina trains abroad and only once or twice a year visits Odessa and/or Kharkiv.[2]

Her favourite surfaces are grass and clay.[3] Svitolina claims that in her early career she turned down offers to change her citizenship in exchange for "large financial sums".[2]

As of 2017 Svitolina is dating English cricket player Reece Topley.[5]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Svitolina's best achievement as a junior is winning the French Open girls event in 2010, beating Tunisian Ons Jabeur in the final.[6] She reached her first professional singles final at the ITF $25,000 tournament in Kharkiv in May 2010.[7] Svitolina also reached the final of the girls' singles event at the 2012 Wimbledon Championships where she lost to Eugenie Bouchard. Svitolina qualified for the 2012 US Open. She was defeated in the first round by 12th seed and eventual quarterfinalist Ana Ivanovic. She won the WTA 125K 2012 Royal Indian Open title in Pune, defeating Andreja Klepač, Rutuja Bhosale, Luksika Kumkhum, former top 10 player Andrea Petkovic, and Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm in the final.

2013: First WTA title[edit]

Svitolina gained direct entry into the Australian Open, where she was defeated by fifth seed Angelique Kerber in the first round. She won her first WTA title in at the Baku Cup by beating Shahar Pe'er; in doing so, Svitolina became the first teenager to win a WTA tournament since February 2012.[8] The victory also translated into a jump of 32 spots in the WTA rankings, landing her at No. 49 on 29 July 2013.[9]

2014: First Premier-5 semifinal[edit]

At the Australian Open, Svitolina defeated two-time Grand Slam champion and three-time Australian Open quarterfinalist Svetlana Kuznetsova in the opening round in straight sets.[10] She went on to reach the third round, losing to Sloane Stephens in straight sets.

After defending her Baku Cup title by beating Bojana Jovanovski in the final, Svitolina played at the Western & Southern Open where she recorded the first top ten victory of her career, defeating recently crowned Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová in the second round.[11] She proceeded to reach her first quarterfinal at Premier 5 level, eventually losing to Ana Ivanovic in straight sets.[12]

Svitolina reached her first Premier 5 semifinal in the first edition of the WTA tournament in Wuhan, defeating Camila Giorgi, Sabine Lisicki, Garbiñe Muguruza via walkover, and Angelique Kerber before losing to Petra Kvitová in the semifinals.

2015: First Major quarterfinal[edit]

Svitolina at the 2015 French Open

Svitolina began her 2015 season at the Brisbane International where she reached the semifinals before losing to eventual champion Maria Sharapova. At the Australian Open, Svitolina reached the third round, and won the first set against world No. 1 and eventual champion Serena Williams before losing in three sets.[13] She fell in the second round in both Dubai and Doha, losing in tight three set matches to Petra Kvitová and Victoria Azarenka respectively.

As the 23rd seed in Indian Wells, she defeated Alison Van Uytvanck and Lucie Šafářová, before losing in the fourth round to Timea Bacsinszky. The following week in Miami, she defeated Bojana Jovanovski, before losing in the third round to the eighth seed Ekaterina Makarova. As the top seed at a tournament for the first time in Bogotá, Svitolina reached the semifinals, defeating Louisa Chirico, Danka Kovinić and Irina Falconi, before losing to eventual champion Teliana Pereira.

Svitolina continued her successful start to the clay court season by winning her third career title and first on clay in Marrakech, recovering from 2–5 down in the opening set to defeat Tímea Babos in straight sets. The victory propelled her to a career high ranking of 21. She also reached the semifinals in doubles with compatriot Olga Savchuk. The following week in Madrid, after easily dispatching Daniela Hantuchová, Svitolina lost to Ana Ivanovic for the sixth time in her career. A similar scenario occurred in Rome, where she defeated Flavia Pennetta in straight sets before losing to Venus Williams.

At the French Open, after comfortably seeing off Yanina Wickmayer in her opening match, Svitolina had to recover from 0–3 in the second set and 1–4 in the final set to beat Yulia Putintseva in a match that lasted over three hours. Another tight three set victory ensued in the third round against Annika Beck, before Svitolina defeated Alizé Cornet in a rain-interrupted fourth round encounter to set up a maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal against 7th seed Ana Ivanovic, which she lost in straight sets. Svitolina rose to No. 17 after this tournament, surpassing Alona Bondarenko as the highest-ranked Ukrainian woman in the Open Era, including women from Ukraine who played under the Soviet Union.

Svitolina's grass court season was significantly less successful, losing in three sets in the second round of Eastbourne to Heather Watson. As the 17th seed at Wimbledon, she came from a set down to beat Misaki Doi, who had beaten her at the same stage the previous year, before again losing in the second round to Australian Casey Dellacqua. Despite losing in the first round of İstanbul to Magdaléna Rybáriková, Svitolina successfully defended her doubles title from the previous year, this time partnering Daria Gavrilova.

She began her American hard court season with a run to the semifinals in Stanford, losing in straight sets to eventual champion Angelique Kerber. At the Rogers Cup, Svitolina lost in the first round to Victoria Azarenka. She bettered her performance from the previous year in Cincinnati, defeating Alison Riske, Eugenie Bouchard and Caroline Garcia to reach the quarterfinals, before defeating Lucie Šafářová for the second time this year to progress to her second Premier 5 semifinal, where she lost to Serena Williams. Svitolina concluded her warm up for the US Open in New Haven, where she retired from her first round match against Madison Keys. She progressed to the third round of the US Open, defeating Elizaveta Kulichkova and Kaia Kanepi, before losing to 13th seed Ekaterina Makarova for the third time this year.

The Asian hard court swing began in Tokyo for Svitolina, where she lost in the second round to eventual champion Agnieszka Radwańska. Svitolina failed to repeat her success from the previous year in Wuhan, losing in the third round to Karolína Plíšková. Similarly disappointing results ensued for Svitolina, losing in the second round of Beijing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and the first round of Tianjin to Elena Vesnina.

Despite this disappointing end to her season, Svitolina's consistency throughout the year earned her a spot as the eighth seed at the inaugural WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai. She was drawn into Group B with second seed Carla Suárez Navarro and Andrea Petkovic. Svitolina topped the group by winning both her matches, advancing to the semifinals where she lost to Karolína Plíšková. Her last match of the season was against Pauline Parmentier in the first round of the 125K event in Limoges, which she lost on a final set tiebreak.

2016: Olympic quarterfinals[edit]

Svitolina at the 2016 BNP Paribas Open

Svitolina began her season at the Hopman Cup, representing Ukraine with Alexandr Dolgopolov. She was undefeated in her singles matches in the round robin stage, defeating Victoria Duval, Karolína Plíšková and Jarmila Wolfe. Svitolina and Dolgopolov were the winners of their group, and advanced to the final, where the Australian pairing of Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova defeated them 2–0, with Svitolina losing her singles match in straight sets. At the Sydney International, Svitolina lost in the first round to Angelique Kerber. She then competed at the Australian Open, where she defeated Victoria Duval in straight sets, before losing to Japanese qualifier Naomi Osaka in the second round.

In her first tournament with Justine Henin acting as a coaching consultant, Svitolina advanced to the semifinals in Dubai, defeating qualifier Jana Čepelová, earning her first top 10 win of the year over second seed Garbiñe Muguruza,[14] and battling past CoCo Vandeweghe in three sets, before losing to eventual champion Sara Errani. Svitolina subsequently lost in the first round in Doha to Denisa Allertová.

Her next tournament was the Malaysian Open, where she defeated Miyu Kato, Risa Ozaki, Kristína Kučová and Zhu Lin en route to the final where she beat a resurgent Eugenie Bouchard in a rain-interrupted marathon to win her fourth WTA title. This victory saw her maintain her perfect record in WTA finals, as well as improving her ranking to a career high of 14.

At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, 17th seed Svitolina defeated Annika Beck, before losing in straight sets to ninth seed Roberta Vinci. Then, in Miami, after defeating Australian Open quarterfinalist Zhang Shuai, Svitolina scored one of the biggest victories of her career, coming from a break down in the third set to defeat former world No. 1, Caroline Wozniacki, in three sets in the third round. Svitolina subsequently lost in the fourth round to Ekaterina Makarova, who beat her at the same tournament last year.

Svitolina began her clay court season with a disappointing first round loss to Alexandra Panova in Bogotá, followed by a second round loss to Daria Gavrilova in Madrid, and a first round loss to qualifier Monica Puig in Rome. Entering the 2016 French Open in poor form, Svitolina beat Romanian qualifier Sorana Cîrstea and wildcard Taylor Townsend before beating nemesis and former world No. 1, Ana Ivanovic, in straight sets.[15] She then lost in the fourth round to world No. 1, defending champion and eventual finalist Serena Williams.

In Birmingham, she lost in the first round to Carla Suárez Navarro. At Wimbledon, she beat Naomi Broady in straight sets before being upset by Yaroslava Shvedova.

At the Rio Olympics, Svitolina scored her first win over defending champion and then world No. 1, Serena Williams in the third round to reach the quarterfinals, defeating the out-of-sorts American in straight sets. Svitolina failed to follow up her landmark victory in the next round, however, losing to eventual bronze medalist Petra Kvitová.[16]

Her American hard court season began with a run to the third round of Montréal, losing to Angelique Kerber. After a disappointing early loss to Daria Gavrilova in Cincinnati, she rebounded at New Haven, reaching the final before losing to Agnieszka Radwańska. At the US Open, Svitolina reached the third round for the second consecutive year with wins over Mandy Minella and Lauren Davis, however she lost to Petra Kvitová once again.

The Asian swing proved to be fruitful for Svitolina, reaching the semifinals of both Tokyo, where she was defeated by Naomi Osaka, and Beijing, her first semifinal at Premier Mandatory level, losing to eventual champion Agnieszka Radwańska. As a result, her ranking was propelled back up to 15, one place shy of her career high, and guaranteed her a place in Zhuhai for the second year running. Her good form continued at the last Premier event of the season in Moscow, where she reached the semifinals, her third in four tournaments, before bowing out to eventual champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Svitolina concluded her season as the fourth seed in Zhuhai. She topped her group by defeating Kiki Bertens and Elena Vesnina, and then came from a set down to defeat top seed Johanna Konta in the semifinals to advance to her third final of the year, where she lost to Petra Kvitová. Svitolina finished the season ranked 14th, with an impressive 13–5 win-loss record following the US Open.

2017: Three Premier-5 titles and top-3 ranking[edit]

Svitolina at the 2017 Wimbledon Championships

Svitolina began her 2017 season with a strong showing in Brisbane, defeating world No. 1, Angelique Kerber, in the quarterfinals, before losing to eventual champion Karolína Plíšková in the following round. The victory over Kerber signified her third win over a No.-1 ranked player in five months. Svitolina was seeded 11th at the Australian Open, her highest seeding to date. She equalled her best showing in Melbourne, reaching the third round with victories over Galina Voskoboeva and Julia Boserup, before losing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Svitolina won her fifth career title at the Taiwan Open, fending off four match points in her quarterfinal encounter with Ons Jabeur, before defeating Peng Shuai in the final. Svitolina next competed in Ukraine's Fed Cup tie against Australia, where she won both of her singles rubbers to help Ukraine set up a play-off against Germany. Svitolina continued her strong start to the season in Dubai, where she defeated Caroline Wozniacki in straight sets in the final to capture her first title at Premier 5 level. This win propelled her into the WTA top 10 for the first time in her career, making her the first Ukrainian ever to do so. Svitolina failed to carry her momentum into the American hard court swing, losing in the fourth round of Indian Wells to Garbiñe Muguruza, and the second round of Miami to Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Svitolina began the clay court season by capturing her third title of the year in İstanbul. Rebounding from a disappointing loss to Zheng Saisai in the first round of Madrid, Svitolina then proceeded to reach her second Premier 5 level final of the year, and fourth overall, in Rome. After defeating two top 5 players en route in Karolína Plíšková and Garbiñe Muguruza, she faced off against Simona Halep, whom she defeated in three sets to claim the title. The win propelled her to a career high of No. 6 in the singles rankings, as well as to the top spot in the Race to Singapore. She then started her campaign at the French Open as one of the favourites to win the tournament. Svitolina progressed through her first three matches with relative ease, defeating Yaroslava Shvedova, Tsvetana Pironkova and Magda Linette repsectively. Svitolina then overcame qualifier Petra Martić in a tight three set encounter to advance to her second Major quarterfinal. She faced Simona Halep in a rematch of the Italian Open final. Svitolina lead by a set and 5–1 and held a match point against the 2014 finalist, but lost in three sets (the third set at love).

At Wimbledon, Svitolina surpassed her previous performances by reaching the fourth round, defeating Birmingham finalist and potential dark horse Ashleigh Barty in the first round. She then eased past Francesca Schiavone and Carina Witthöft, before bowing out to 13th seed and French Open champion Jeļena Ostapenko in straight sets.

Svitolina's fifth title of the year, and third successive at Premier 5 level, came in Toronto, where she defeated four top 10 players en route in Venus Williams, Garbiñe Muguruza, Simona Halep and Caroline Wozniacki. Svitolina's first loss of the season at Premier 5 level came the following week in the third round of Cincinnati, losing to Julia Görges.

Svitolina entered the US Open knowing that a run to the semifinals would see her claim the world No. 1 ranking for the first time. She overcame Kateřina Siniaková in a rain-interrupted three-set encounter, before easing past Evgeniya Rodina and Shelby Rogers to reach the round of 16 at the US Open for the first time. She was then defeated by eventual runner-up Madison Keys in three sets.

Despite missing a large part of the Asian swing, Svitolina still secured her place at the year-end WTA Finals in Singapore, making her the first Ukrainian ever to do so. As the third seed in Beijing, Svitolina progressed to her eighth quarterfinal of the year with relative ease, defeating wildcard Zhu Lin, recent Wuhan finalist Ashleigh Barty and Elena Vesnina. There, she was defeated by eventual champion Caroline Garcia on a final set tiebreak.

Svitolina was drawn into the Red Group at the WTA Finals, alongside Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki and Caroline Garcia. Despite earning her fifth career win over a number 1 ranked player by defeating Halep, Svitolina lost her other two matches, including a 6–0, 6–2 drubbing by eventual champion Wozniacki, which ultimately placed her third in the group. She finished the year ranked at number six.

Playing style, equipment, and coaches[edit]

Svitolina worked with Iain Hughes for two and a half years, and chose to split with him in November 2016.[3][17] In February 2016, Svitolina appointed former world No. 1, Justine Henin, as a member of her coaching team.[18] In late 2016, Svitolina announced that Gabriel Urpi would be her new coach, with Thierry Ascione replacing Henin as her new coaching consultant.[19]

Svitolina has a complete baseline game. Her groundstrokes are very consistent and are hit with moderate-to-big power. Her backhand is her stronger side, especially down the line, but both of her groundstrokes penetrate the court well. She demonstrates good movement around the court and is capable of hitting very accurate shots on the run. She possesses a consistent serve but isn't exceptionally fast. She improved her serve in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Her weakness is probably her volleying at the net as she has been known to struggle with this. However, she has good reactions and can accelerate well across the court to deal with short balls.

Svitolina uses Wilson racquets and is sponsored by Nike, having previously been sponsored by Italian sports apparel company Ellesse and French apparel Lacoste.[20]

Career statistics[edit]

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held.
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated either at the conclusion of a tournament, or when the player's participation in the tournament has ended.

Grand Slam tournament performance timeline[edit]

Currently through 2017 US Open

Tournament 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 SR W–L
Australian Open A A 1R 3R 3R 2R 3R 0 / 5 7–5
French Open Q1 Q2 2R 2R QF 4R QF 0 / 5 13–5
Wimbledon A Q1 1R 1R 2R 2R 4R 0 / 5 5–5
US Open A 1R 2R 1R 3R 3R 4R 0 / 6 8–6
Win–Loss 0–0 0–1 2–4 3–4 9–4 7–4 12–4 0 / 21 33–21

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Elina Svitolina official website". Retrieved July 2, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g (in Ukrainian) I was offered a lot of money to play for other countries, but, luckily, I'm from Ukraine - Svitolina, Radio Free Europe (31 July 2017)
  3. ^ a b c d Elina Svitolina at the International Tennis Federation
  4. ^ http://www.wtatennis.com/players/player/15788/title/elina-svitolina
  5. ^ https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/elina-svitolina-on-how-early-defeat-led-her-to-fall-for-reece-topley-tq0p7t7dn
  6. ^ "Svitolina and Velotti take French Open junior titles". Roland Garros. June 6, 2010. Archived from the original on August 11, 2010. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  7. ^ "$25,000 Kharkiv Ukraine Women's Singles - Main Draw". International Tennis Federation. Retrieved August 18, 2010. 
  8. ^ Elina Svitolina picks up first WTA title at Baku Cup, United Press International (28 July 2013)
  9. ^ Svitolina rising quickly in WTA rankings, United Press International (29 July 2013)
  10. ^ Serena earns record-tying 60th victory at Australian Open, Arizona Daily Star, 15 January 2014
  11. ^ Kuznetsova stuns Bouchard in Cincy, WTA official website, 13 August 2014
  12. ^ Sharapova wins Halep showdown, WTA official website, 15 August 2014
  13. ^ "Serena Williams fends off Elina Svitolina to reach fourth round of Australian Open". DNA India. 24 January 2015. Retrieved 24 January 2015. 
  14. ^ http://www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com/en/news-and-media/news/2016/02/17/dubai-2016-wta-wed-evening-report
  15. ^ "Svitolina ends former champion's run". Roland Garros. Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  16. ^ "Rio 2016: Australian Samantha Stosur, top-ranked Serena Williams out of Olympic women's singles". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 10 August 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  17. ^ "Svitolina Splits With Coach Iain Hughes". Women's Tennis Association. Retrieved 2016-11-16. 
  18. ^ "Henin to help rising Svitolina." Women's Tennis Association. Published February 11, 2016.
  19. ^ "Svitolina Announces New Coaching Team, Led By Gabriel Urpi". Women's Tennis Association. Retrieved 2016-12-13. 
  20. ^ "NIKE signs up rising Ukrainian star Elina Svitolina". Tennis World. 3 January 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2016. 

External links[edit]