Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina has withdrawn from Charleston. Svitolina, ranked at No. 20 in the world, will not be making her second Charleston debut this year. Svitolina, 27, had been expected to return to Charleston for the first time since 2014.
In her Charleston debut, Svitolina defeated Jarmila Wolfe in the first round and also beat Sloane Stephens in the second round to reach the round-of-16.
OUT: Svitolina, Li
IN: Frech, Kalinskaya
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In the last-16, Svitolina suffered a tight three-set loss to Belinda Bencic. Svitolina won the opening set against Bencic but the Swiss recovered to win 6-7 (4) 6-4 6-1.
Svitolina pulling out of Charleston not a surprise
As you probably know, the last month has been extremely diffiicult for Svitolina.
After a first round bye in Miami, Svitolina was beaten in the second round by Heather Watson as the Briton claimed a 4-6 6-3 7-6 (4) win. After the match, Svitolina admitted it was tough for her to focus on tennis when her thought were constantly with the people of Ukraine.
“It was quite tough to focus,” Svitolina told the WTA Tour website. “Very tough, mentally, to go on the court. I know I tried to be brave and face the challenges. I would say that I’m not 100 percent. And talking to the other Ukrainian players in Indian Wells and Miami, they have been struggling, too.
We are telling each other, yeah, we are here and then sometimes we are not here. “With everything that’s happening in Ukraine, it’s just very, very sad. Every hour we are seeing the news everywhere. You see it, and for my homeland it’s very painful."
What is happening in Ukraine has been clearly affecting Svitolina as she has lost her last three matches. Recently, Gael Monfils admitted it was hard for him seeing Svitolina cry every night when Russia launched their invasion of Ukraine. It remains to be seen when will Svitolina be ready to return to action.