Elina Svitolina Stuns Iga Swiatek to Continue Wimbledon Journey

Elina Svitolina ahead of WTA Birmingham

On Saturday, Skaï Monfils will turn nine months old. And if Elina Svitolina wins one more match, it will be the same day that Skaï’s mom competes in the Wimbledon ladies’ final.

Already one of the stories of the tournament, Svitolina secured her place in the semifinals by conquering world No. 1 Iga Swiatek 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-2. Her upset over the sport’s best player would have been monumental under any circumstances. To consider that the former world No. 3 is back on court after giving birth last April and while remaining so deeply affected by the on-going war besieging her home country of Ukraine, the underdog victory carries that much more significance.

Then again, everything about Svitolina’s journey over the past six weeks has been nothing short of incredible. At the French Open, she reached the quarter-finals of her first Grand Slam since becoming a mom. Now, at the All-England Club, she has knocked off four Major winners–Venus Williams, Sofia Kenin, Victoria Azarenka and Swiatek–along the way to her third career Slam semifinal.

Against Swiatek, Svitolina showed off her conditioning, mental toughness and perseverance. Staring down a 3-5 and 0-30 deficit in the first round while struggling with her serve amidst blustery conditions, the 28-year-old rallied back to win 16 of the next 18 points to stun her heavily favored opponent.

Embed from Getty Images

Svitolina could have easily wilted after Swiatek eked out a narrow tiebreak victory in the second set, but she kept the pressure on and forced a break of serve and 2-1 in the third set and never looked back. She had initially referred to her dramatic fourth round victory over Azarenka as the second-greatest moment of her life (after the birth of her daughter), but that might have to change after toppling the dominant Polish star.

Looking ahead, her run as a wild card will continue on Thursday against unseeded Czech Marketa Vondrousova, who pulled off a three-set quarter-final upset of her own over No. 4 seed Jessica Pegula. If Svitolina wins that match, she will earn a spot in her first career Slam final.

More immediately, though, Svitolina has a different focus. When asked what she planned to do in the aftermath of Monday’s big win during her on-court interview, she replied, “First of all I’m going to have a beer, probably.”

Suffice to say, ELina Svitolina has earned it.

Main Photo Credit: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message