As we’re awaiting the 2020 season to heat up, let’s browse through some WTA childhood pics as part of my Little Tennis Stars series. This time I’m adding Elina Svitolina, the most successful player from Ukraine.
Svitolina was five years old when she was introduced to tennis by her family.
The main reason for her introduction to the sport was her nine years older brother Yulian, who played tennis and was even a pro, while now he’s running a tennis program in Los Angeles. As a child, Elina was always watching her brother train and play tournaments, so she wanted to try herself out in tennis as well. Here’s how Yulian describes his sister:
She’s a great fighter, she’s trying to improve herself every single day.
Look at this epic face expression and hairdo! 🙂 It’s baby Elina with her mother Olena, who did karate. Elina credits her mother for always pushing her, giving her positive energy and motivating her to do better.
Elina’s father Mykhaylo is a former wrestler. Elina describes him as a calm person.
When Svitolina shared the above photo on social media, as part of her clothing sponsor Nike’s campaign, the caption read:
My story began in Odessa, where I dreamed by the sea. Now I cross that sea, to follow my dream.
When Elina was 10-11 years old, she started winning national tournaments. As her talent was recognized, her parents realized that she could not prosper further in her home town of Odessa, so in search of tougher competition, Elina went abroad and was away from home at a young age of 12-13.
Svitolina is currently ranked No.6, while her career-high is No.3. In February 2017, Svitolina became the first Ukrainian woman to crack the Top 10. So far, the 25-year-old has won 13 WTA titles, while her best Grand Slam results are semifinals of Wimbledon and the US Open in 2019.
The WTA made a nice “My Story” feature on Elina Svitolina:
For more childhood photos of WTA players, visit my Little Tennis Stars page.