Elina Svitolina's week starts with special ranking news, Ukrainian star reacts

For the first time in nearly two years, Svitolina is again a top-20 player.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Elina Svitolina's week starts with special ranking news, Ukrainian star reacts
© Getty Images Sport - Phil Walter

Elina Svitolina continues to make positive strides in her return as the Ukrainian is back in the top-20 for the first time since 2022 April and launching her post-pregnancy comeback.

Svitolina, a former world No. 3, improved four spots on this week's updated WTA rankings list as the Ukrainian is now the 19th-ranked player in the world. After taking a break from tennis in 2022 March and also announcing her pregnancy shortly after, Svitolina exited the top-20 in early 2022 April.

Svitolina, who played her first tournament in 13 months in Charleston last April, was ranked at No. 1344 at the start of her post-pregnancy comeback. But after making the Wimbledon semifinal and the French Open quarterfinal, Svitolina very quickly returned to the top-30 in the world. 

Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney
 

At the start of this season, Svitolina finished as runner-up in Auckland before retiring injured in the Australian Open round-of-16. Svitolina, who started the season ranked at No. 25, had a joyful reaction on Instagram to the news of her returning to the top-20 for the first time in nearly two years.

Elina Svitolina ranking
Elina Svitolina ranking© Elina Svitolina - Instagram
 

Svitolina's promising Australian Open run ended in an unfortunate way

After three very comfortable straight-set wins, the draw opened for Svitolina and her hopes and expectations grew. But then, Svitolina was forced to retire in her Australian Open round-of-16 match against Linda Noskova after just three games played due to a back injury.

"I got a spasm, or I don't know exactly what it is, but like shooting pain in the first game, the last two points. Yeah, couldn't do anything. Completely locked my back. Just very sad, of course," Svitolina said after the match.

Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney
 

In her post-match press conference, Svitolina admitted that she was left stunned by her back injury. 

"This one I think I never had that before, the shooting pain like this. I had some injuries to my back before where it just was tiredness the next day of the match, but this one was really out of nowhere. I felt like someone shot me in the back," Svitolina said.

It remains to be seen if Svitolina will be able to play in any tournaments in February.

Elina Svitolina
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