Elina Svitolina makes sad revelation after French Open exit

Svitolina has been plagued by one issue basically the entire 2024.

by Dzevad Mesic
Elina Svitolina makes sad revelation after French Open exit
© Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

Elina Svitolina made a big health revelation following her French Open exit as the 29-year-old Ukrainian shared that her ankle is actually doing "quite okay" but that she has been troubled by a back issue since the Australian Open. 

After launching her post-pregnancy comeback in a successful way in 2023 April, Svitolina put an end to her 2023 season after the US Open to focus on addressing an ankle issue. When Svitolina returned to action at the start of 2024, she finished as runner-up in Auckland and also made the Australian Open round-of-16 before retiring injured just three games into her match versus Linda Noskova.

Since Svitolina was able to return to action from a back injury in late February and regularly play since then, it was presumed that she overcame her back injury. But after suffering a 4-6 3-6 loss to Elena Rybakina in the French Open round-of-16 on Monday, the Ukrainian indicated that she was dealing with a physical issue.

When asked by a reporter if it was again her ankle issue, Svitolina surprisingly revealed that her back issue never fully went away.

"No, the ankle is quite okay. It's my back since the Australian injury. Still we are managing it," Svitolina revealed.

"Yeah, unfortunately, sometimes it's responding good to the treatments that we do, sometimes it's not. So every time that we have the little blocks of - like right now is going to be before grass, so we try to do scan to see if it's improving, if it's not. Then, you know, try to do something or take some weeks off.

"Like right now I will take a little bit of time off, as much as I can, since the grass court season is just around the corner, but try to take care of myself as much as possible. For sure I'm not getting younger, so it takes little bit more time for me."

Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina © Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

Svitolina on how she manages her back issue

Earlier this year at Melbourne Park, Svitolina started her Australian Open run with three consecutive straight-set wins to easily reach the second week. Against Noskova, Svitolina entered as the favorite and she was certainly having high hopes considering how well she started the tournament. 

But when the match against Noskova started, Svitolina appeared to be dealing with something and she very early asked for the physio. After getting treatment on her back, the former world No. 3 tried to continue the match but ended up retiring with Noskova 3-0 up.

Svitolina then became very emotional and exited the court in tears before explaining in her press conference that the back injury caught her blindsided as she just felt a sharp pain and that was it. 

Now, Svitolina reveals she gets massages on her back daily and also does exercises that should help strengthen her back. 

"Well, I spend a lot of hours on the massage table, also doing some exercise in the morning, in the evening. All the time resting a lot as well, which before, you know, I didn't really think about. Before when I was younger, I could go walk in the city or go to the park and just walk around," Svitolina explained.

Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina © Getty Images Sport - Darrian Traynor

Svitolina on what she must do to get over the hump

Since returning to tennis, Svitolina has managed to return to the top-20 in the world and to also make her first Wimbledon semifinal in a run that included a win over world No. 1 Iga Swiatek.

But so far this year, Sabalenka hasn't managed to clinch a really big win - she lost to Coco Gauff in the Auckland final, got beaten by Swiatek in Dubai, Aryna Sabalenka beat her in Rome, and the Ukrainian now exited the French Open after losing to Rybakina. 

Now, the former world No. 3 highlights that in order to have a chance against the very best, she needs to be at 100 percent physically and game-wise. 

Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina © Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

“You have to be 100% all the time when you play players top 5, top 10. It doesn’t matter if it’s Rybakina or someone else. You have to be ready for big battle. You have to be super reactive. I feel like I’m getting [there] physically. I’m not 100% yet, but I feel like we do everything possible every single day with my team to get there, to give myself a good chance," Svitolina said.

“I had great matches here, which [is] already a big step for me because coming into this tournament I was not feeling good. I was not in the right place, but then I fought hard. I had good conversations with my team who gave me the confidence. You know, with the work that we do, we made this step, and I actually found myself in the fourth round and playing not bad, I would say. So for me I try to take positives from this and move forward.”

Elina Svitolina French Open