“I expect a return to the top 10” – Back in the spotlight of Grand Slam success, Svitolina’s ambitions remain big

Quarter-finalist at Roland-Garros and still in contention at Wimbledon, the Ukrainian has her eye on reaching the top of the game once again

Elina Svitolina - (c) Action Plus / Panoramic Elina Svitolina – (c) Action Plus / Panoramic

Elina Svitolina‘s return to tennis has been nothing short of extraordinary.

Just under nine months after giving birth, and just three months into her return from maternity leave, the Ukrainian former world No. 3 is already back to the type of form that leaves players desperate to avoid her in the draw.

After a year in which she became a mother for the first time and her country was plunged into war, Svitolina’s three-month return to tour life has already seen her win a title and reach a Grand Slam quarter-final at Roland-Garros.

Svitolina aiming high at Wimbledon

Still in contention at Wimbledon after three excellent wins over big-name players, the indomitable Ukrainian has made her longer-term ambitions abundantly clear.

“For me, that would probably be top 10. I always have high expectations. It may sound arrogant, but I will always have high expectations for myself. 

“Every time I participate in a tournament, I want to win it. It doesn’t matter.

“Even the first tournament I played in Charleston, everyone said to me, ‘Oh, it’s incredible, you are already playing your first tournament in April’. But even then, my goal was to win the tournament.”

Svitolina dropped to 1344th in the world prior to her return to the tour at the Charleston Open in April.

If she wins her fourth round encounter with Victoria Azarenka, she will be back inside the world’s top 40 and well on the way to achieving her goal of cracking the top 10.

Despite her bullish statements of intent, Svitolina has also been candid about the challenges of returning to tour life after such a tumultuous year out of action.

“I didn’t know how my body was going to react under a lot of pressure, when there’s a lot going on in your head, when you have a lot of adrenaline, nerves. 

“Your body is a little different, it reacts differently. So it takes time. For some people, it may click a little earlier. For some, it takes time, so you have to expect the worst for everything to go well.”

If there are any lingering physical issues, they are hardly showing in the Ukrainian’s tennis.

Elina Svitolina is back. She is aiming for the top, and few would bet against her getting there.

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