Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina delivered a powerful and heartfelt message about her war-ravaged homeland following her triumphant return to the French Open. After taking a 14-month hiatus due to the birth of her daughter, Elina Svitolina made a stunning comeback to the sport. In her first major tournament as a mother, she showcased her exceptional skills and dominated her opponent, Martina Trevisan, with a resounding 6-2, 6-2 victory.
The win not only signalled Svitolina’s return to top form but also set the stage for a highly anticipated second-round clash with Australia’s Storm Hunter, who had just achieved her first-ever grand slam main draw victory. Despite her temporary drop in the rankings, Svitolina proved that she was quickly regaining her competitive edge. However, her remarkable performance seemed to be fueled by more than just her tennis prowess—it was driven by her deep emotions and concern for her homeland.
In a post-match interview, Svitolina passionately invited everyone to shift their focus towards aiding the people of Ukraine. She announced her intention to donate all her prize money from the Strasbourg tournament to support Ukrainian children and established a foundation to provide assistance to those affected by the ongoing war. Svitolina expressed her desire to help children and women who had lost their husbands due to the conflict, emphasizing the various ways in which everyone could contribute to the cause.
Elina Svitolina, Formidable Performance Ahead of Storm Hunter Match
The war between Ukraine and Russia had already sparked controversy at the French Open, with fans booing Svitolina’s compatriot, Marta Kostyuk, for her refusal to shake hands with Belarusian opponent Aryna Sabalenka. Svitolina had also chosen not to shake Sabalenka’s hand in a previous encounter due to Belarus’s support for Russia in the conflict. Kostyuk had consistently called on Russian and Belarusian players to denounce the war on Ukraine, further intensifying the tension within the tennis community.
Svitolina expressed her distress at the distraction caused by these controversies, emphasizing the importance of focusing on the main issue at hand—the dire situation faced by the Ukrainian people. She criticized the empty words and futile discussions that did nothing to alleviate the suffering in her homeland. Instead, she urged everyone to unite in providing practical support and aid.
Amidst the turmoil, Svitolina’s game continued to improve with each match, sending a clear message to her upcoming opponent, Storm Hunter, and the rest of the tennis world. Despite only having played each other once before, with Svitolina securing a dominant victory in their previous encounter, Hunter hoped for a more competitive match this time around.