Elina Svitolina: ‘I Was On A Mission For My Country’ - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Elina Svitolina: ‘I Was On A Mission For My Country’

The tennis star hopes to use her platform as a player to generate support for her home country who are under invasion by Russia.

Avatar

Published

on

Image via https://twitter.com/WTA

Elina Svitolina says she hopes to unite the tennis community to stand with Ukraine following her first round win at the Monterrey Open.

 

The world No.15 had threatened to pull out of this week’s tournament in Mexico after being drawn to play Russia’s Anastasia Potapova in her opening match. Svitolina had said she wanted Russian and Belarussian athletes to play under a neutral status due to their country’s involvement in the ongoing war against Ukraine. She reversed her decision after tournament organizers reached an agreement where the Russian flag would not be displayed during her first round match.

Taking to the court, Svitolina stormed to a 6-2, 6-1, win over Potapova who is currently ranked 81st in the world. During the match she won 68% of her service points and broke her opponent five times.

“I was on a mission for my country,” BBC Sport quotes Svitolina as saying following the match. “I’m in a very sad mood, but I’m happy I’m here playing tennis.
“I think it’s my mission to unite our tennis community to stand with Ukraine, to help Ukraine because what we’re going through is a horrible thing for all Ukrainians.
“That’s why I’m here. That’s why I’m playing for my country and doing my best to use my platform to try to invite people to support Ukraine.”

Just hours before Svitolina played Potapova, tennis’ seven governing bodies issued a joint-statement condemning Russia’s actions against Ukraine and announced a series of measures. Players from Russia and Belarus will no longer be allowed to play in international tennis events under the name or flag of their country. The country’s federations have also been suspended from all team competitions by the ITF. Finally, the combined ATP/WTA event in Moscow set to take place in October has been suspended. Tennis Europe, who are not one of the seven governing bodies, have taken similar measures.

Svitolina has pledged to donate all of the prize money she wins this week to the Ukrainian military and the humanitarian efforts currently being made. She will earn a total of $29,200 if she wins the title. Svitolina has also vowed to do the same when she will play tournaments in America next month.

I’m playing to help the Ukrainian army and people in need,” she added. “Every victory that I’m going to get is going to be very special.”

Svitolina will play Viktoriya Tomova in the second round who defeated France’s Diane Parry 6-4, 6-0.

Grand Slam

(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) The Wimbledon Clash Between Djokovic And Sinner Could Have Been Better

It was an epic five-set clash but imagine how better the match would have been if both were playing well at the same time…

Avatar

Published

on

By

Hall of Famer Steve Flink and Ubitennis’ Ubaldo Scanagatta analyse the dramatic events that unfolded on Tuesday at Wimbledon.

 

Top seed Novak Djokovic staged an epic comeback to oust Jannik Sinner in a match of two halves. Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie brought delight to the British fans.

On the other side of the draw, how will Rafael Nadal fair against the in-form Taylor Fritz? The Spaniard recently sidestepped a question about a potential new injury. 

As for the women’s draw, Ons Jabeur made history by becoming the first Arab player to reach a major quarter-final. She will next play 34-year-old mum-of-two Tatjana Maria who had never been beyond the third round of a major until now. 

Continue Reading

Latest news

WIMBLEDON: 10 Facts About Semi-Finalist Ons Jabeur

All you need to know about the Trailblazing Tunisian who has created history at The All England Club.

Avatar

Published

on

image via twitter.com/wimbledon

Second seed Ons Jabeur achieved a new milestone for both her and her country at Wimbledon on Tuesday. 

 

The world No.2 battled back from a set down to defeat Marie Bouzkova 3-6, 6-1, 6-1, to reach the last four of a major event for the first time in her career. Jabeur has now dropped only one set in five matches played and is the highest ranked player remaining in the draw. Her major breakthrough comes seven years after she made her Grand Slam debut at the 2015 Australian Open. 

“I played really good from beginning of the second set, especially having a early break kind of helps me gain confidence,” said Jabeur.
“I know it wasn’t easy playing Marie. She gets all the balls and doesn’t make, to win a point, easy for me. I’m glad I stepped in with my game. I was more aggressive in the second set, and especially tactically I was playing some angles that she didn’t like much.”

To mark Jabeur’s Wimbledon milestone, here are 10 facts to know about her:-

  1. She is the first North African player – male or female – to reach a Grand Slam semi-final. The last woman from the entire African continent to reach a major semi-final was Amanda Coetzer at the 1997 French Open. 
  2. Her win over Bouzkova is Jabeur’s 26th Tour-level win on the grass.
  3. Jabeur has now won 83 matches over the past two seasons. This is more than any other player on the WTA Tour. 
  4. Has won 21 out of her last 23 matches.
  5. She is the only Tunisian woman currently ranked in the world’s top 700.
  6. Jabeur had failed to win back-to-back matches on her three out of her four previous appearances at Wimbledon in 2017, 2018 and 2019. She reached the quarter-finals in 2021.
  7. Coming into Wimbledon she has already earned more than $6.2m in prize money in her career.
  8. She has won three Tour titles in Birmingham (2021), Madrid (2022) and Berlin (2022). 
  9. Has beaten a top 10 player four times in her career – Dominika Cibulkova (2017 French Open), Simona Halep (Beijing 2018), Sloane Stephens (Moscow 2018) and Karolina Pliskova (Doha 2020).
  10. In October 2021 she became the first Arab player (mae or female) to crack the world’s top 10 in tennis. 

Continue Reading

Focus

Tatjana Maria – Reaching Wimbledon Semi-Finals is ‘Amazing’ But It Doesn’t Beat Parenthood

The underdog is enjoying her best-ever run at a major 15 years after making her debut.

Avatar

Published

on

Image via twitter.com/wta

Germany’s Tatjana Maria reveals people once doubted her ability to return to tennis after having her first child. Now a mother-of-two, she has secured a place in the Wimbledon semifinals. 

 

The fairytale run of the world No.103 continued on Tuesday when she ousted compatriot Jule Niemeier 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, in her quarter-final match. Until the tournament, Maria had never been beyond the third round of a major event. However, that changed with high-profile wins over Sorana Cirstea, Maria Sakkari and Jelena Ostapenko prior to Niemeier.

“It’s amazing. I mean, I tried to calm down a little bit in the locker room and to realize something, but it’s still hard to realize it,” she said of reaching the last four at Wimbledon.

Whilst some players prepare for their Grand Slam matches in the gym, Maria’s routine is somewhat unique. She began her day by taking her 8-year-old daughter to her tennis lesson. It wasn’t enough to keep her busy, she also has a 15-month-old baby.

“Outside of the court, nothing changes for me for the moment,” she said.  “I try to keep this going, everything the same. We keep going (to the tennis lessons) even if I’m playing the semifinals.”

Incredibly the 34-year-old returned to the circuit following maternity leave less than a year ago. It was during that absence that she decided to switch to a one-handed backhand. She has been ranked as high as 46th in the world and has two Tour titles to her name. 

“A lot of people who never believed I would come back. This was already after Charlotte and when I changed my backhand,” she said.
“I showed it last time already that I am back. I reached the top 50 with Charlotte, and now I’m back with my second child. Still, everybody was doubting.’
“I’m still here and I’m a fighter, and I keep going and I keep dreaming.”

Relishing in her best-ever performance at a major event, Maria is another example of a player having a breakthrough later in their career. To put her run in perspective, in the Open Era only five other women have reached the semifinals at Wimbledon after turning 34.

However, in Maria’s eyes, her achievements on the court can’t beat her top priority off the court.

“To be a mum is for me on the top of my life. So I think it helps me in tennis too because now my priority is my kids,” she explains. “I play tennis, I want to do my best, that’s all that I want. But my kids are the priority.’
“If I go out there, I want my kids to be happy, that they are healthy, that everything is okay. That’s the most important thing for me in my life.”

Maria made her Grand Slam debut back at Wimbledon in 2007. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending