"I try to remind myself of what my friends, my family, are dealing with": Elina Svitolina's Ukraine mission to inspire hope in hard times

Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina has not been shy regarding her feelings about the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and the former World No.3 reiterated her mission to inspire people in her home country who are going through difficult times.

Svitolina took some time away from the sport in 2022 to give birth to her first child with husband, French tennis player Gael Monfils. The 29-year old made an astounding comeback in 2023, winning her 17th career title at Strasbourg before reaching the quarterfinals at Roland Garros and defeating World No.1 Iga Swiatek en route to a semifinal appearance at Wimbledon.

Ukrainian fan support spurs the Svitolina to do better

"I feel like I have a mission right now in so many different ways," said Svitolina. "A lot of Ukrainians are messaging me on Instagram & coming up to me when I was in Ukraine. It is really sweet. They are saying ‘I’m watching matches.’ It is tough days for them with 80 to 90 rocket attacks, but they are finding time to watch my matches. It is really an unbelievable feeling.

"Each time I have some tough situations, I try to remind myself of what my friends, my family, are dealing with in Ukraine, the horrible situations. I have to be grateful for the moments I get right now, playing big tournaments in front of so many people. As Billie Jean King says, ‘pressure is a privilege.’ I take it this way… I know each match I am playing, I am going out feeling like it is my own battle that I have, not only to bring happiness & different headlines, but to continually remind people we still need help for kids, schools."

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WTA Elina Svitolina Gael Monfils

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