Sergiy Stakhovsky tells how Elina Svitolina heroics lifted mood of Ukrainian soldiers

Svitolina is having a highly-impressive Wimbledon run.

by Dzevad Mesic
Sergiy Stakhovsky tells how Elina Svitolina heroics lifted mood of Ukrainian soldiers

Former Ukrainian tennis star Sergiy Stakhovsky says Elina Svitolina's impressive Wimbledon run is lifting the mood of the Ukrainian soldiers. Svitolina, 28, made the Wimbledon semifinal as a wildcard after a couple of highly-impressive wins.

In the Wimbledon round-of-16, Svitolina beat Belarus' Victoria Azarenka in a thriller 2-6 6-4 7-6 (9). Considering the circumstances, that was Svitolina's happiest ever moment on the court as the Ukrainian admitted after the match: “After giving birth to our daughter, this is the second-happiest moment in my life." Then, Svitolina upset world No 1 Iga Swiatek to set up a semifinal against Marketa Vondrousova.

“Everybody has been lifted up. Everybody is talking about it, and everybody is waiting for the match," Stakhovsky told British newspaper i.

Stakhovsky, the people of Ukraine rooting for Svitolina

Svitolina, a former world No 3, was out for 13 months before returning to tennis in April.

Since welcoming her first child and returning to tennis, Svitolina has been looking like someone who is playing with an extra spark, determination and motivation. Some think the situation in Ukraine and seeing what her people are going through is pushing Svitolina to win for the people of Ukraine and make her compatriots proud.

“Of course there is extra motivation. But she knows how to categorize things and get ready for matches, because it is impossible to play tennis with your mind in Ukraine," Stakhovsky said. When Svitolina meets Vondrousova, it will be her third Grand Slam semifinal.

So far, Svitolina has had two losses in this stage. When Svitolina returned to tennis, she highlighted winning a Grand Slam was still a goal for her. “I don’t know what would happen if she won. But we want her to have the chance to do it.

I am trying to bother her as little as possible," Stakhovsky added. It remains to be seen if Svitolina can go all the way at Wimbledon.

Sergiy Stakhovsky Elina Svitolina Wimbledon