Elina Svitolina captured her first WTA title as a mother and then donated all of her Strasbourg prize money to the kids of Ukraine. Svitolina, 28, defeated Anna Blinkova in the Strasbourg final 6-2 6-3 to lift her first title since welcoming baby girl Skai in October.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine started, Svitolina has been very outspoken in her support for her country. In Strasbourg, Svitolina netted $34,228 by winning the title. "I would like to share this energy with Ukraine, with my homeland.
All my prize money from this tournament is going to go to the kids of Ukraine, [which is] much needed in this tough moment. I would like to thank France for doing an unbelievable job, welcoming Ukrainians, doing everything possible for them to feel like it's their second home.
Thank you so much for everything that you do for us, and together, we're going to see the light and end this war," Svitolina said afterward, per the WTA website.
Svitolina wins Strasbourg, remembers the kids of Ukraine
Svitolina now has 17 WTA titles in her collection but there is no doubt that this is one of the most special wins of her career.
On Saturday, Svitolina made a fast start to the Strasbourg final, claiming back-to-back breaks for an early 3-0 lead. In the fourth game, Blinkova got one break back. However, it didn't change much as Svitolina broke Blinkova again in the seventh game for a 5-2 lead before closing out the first set in the following game.
Svitolina then started the second set the same way she started the first set - the Ukrainian earned back-to-back breaks and had a 3-0 lead. In the remainder of the set, Svitolina was twice broken but she also claimed two more breaks to seal a straight-set win. Svitolina will now turn her focus on the French Open, where she plays Martina Trevisan in the first round.
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