Tennis - Ukraine's Elina Svitolina says she wants to build a tennis center through her foundation, The Elina Svitolina Foundation, which will help children from her country learn the sport and achieve their potential.
In September, the foundation opened a children's tennis camp where four of the most promising 400 applicants have been shortlisted to be under the guardianship of Svitolina. They will be given individual training programs, a chance to train at tennis academies and travel to international tournaments.
Svitolina, who met the media in her country this week, says, "It is important not only to see gifted children but also to help them fully reach their potential, support them on the road to future victories. This is the purpose of our foundation."
Svitolina is also holding an auction to raise funds for her foundation, proceeds of which will go towards building a tennis center in her country. "The lots will include personal items of such stars as Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
A tennis master class with me and Gael Monfils will also be raffled. Where will the center be located? We are still thinking. Odesa is a good option, near the sea. But Kyiv is still the capital." Speaking about her 2019 season, the Ukrainian commented about reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon and the US Open.
"They were different. It's difficult to choose one of them. The first one at Wimbledon - there I started to play better after my knee injury. In New York, I was already playing well, very steadily, beating a lot of good players.
There is a huge stadium there, a lot of people came, so I had incredible memories of the US Open 2019." Speaking about her plans for the 2020 season, Svitolina commented, "Yes, of course, there is a desire to play in the Olympics.
I'm always happy to play for the national team at the Fed Cup. Another thing is that sometimes health does not allow me to do that, because there are many tournaments and it is difficult to avoid even minor injuries. Of course, the national team is present in the plans.
I always communicate with girls from the national team, we have a good relationship/ My team is expecting changes. We will add new specialists. We will announce all new appointments soon. As for Andrew Bettles, he remains my coach.
I have big plans for the next season – winning a Grand Slam tournament and becoming the world's top tennis player. However, as this season has shown, the most important thing is health. This is a priority for me. When I'm healthy, I show good results."