Elina Svitolina is a Ukrainian tennis player who has used her consistent play and efficient groundstrokes to become major force on the women's tour.
The first Ukrainian woman to ever break into the top 10 of the WTA singles rankings, Svitolina's athleticism and fighting qualities have earned praise from all corners. She is expected to make deep inroads at the Grand Slams in the years to come, and be a consistent challenger to the top players.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: Quarterfinalist (2018)
French Open: Quarterfinalist (2015, 2017)
Wimbledon: 4th Round (2017)
US Open: 4th Round (2017, 2018)
Highest Ranking: No. 3
Style of play
Svitolina has a multi-faceted game; she can switch between attack and defense with ease. She mostly plays from the baseline, and is adept at using her opponents' pace against them.
Svitolina is well-balanced off both wings, and is as comfortable hitting her backhand as she is the forehand. She rarely ventures to the net though, and is content to move the ball around from the back.
The Ukrainian hits with considerable topspin on the forehand, but has a flatter backhand.
Strengths and weaknesses
Svitolina's movement and consistency are her biggest assets. She is very fleet-footed at the baseline, and can track down more balls than most of her peers.
She can also take charge of rallies with her big groundstrokes, especially against lower-ranked players. Her backhand is her stronger wing, especially the down-the-line version, but her forehand is fairly solid too.
Svitolina has exceptional anticipation, which she uses to impose herself on return games. She is very good at guessing which direction the serve is going to go, which enables her to position herself quickly and neutralize a majority of the points.
The Ukrainian doesn't have a great serve, and often faces a lot of pressure to hold. She also doesn't have ideal volleying technique, which can make her look like a fish out of water on the rare occasions she finds herself at the net.
Svitolina was born in Odessa, Ukraine, and has an athletic background. Her father Mikhaylo Svitolin used to be a wrestler in his youth, while mother Olena Svitolina was a professional rower.
She started playing tennis at the age of five, and her role model while growing up was Andre Agassi. Although she first picked up tennis because she thought that would make her father pay more attention to her, she learned to love the sport as the years passed by.
Svitolina and her family moved to Kharkiv in 2008, after business tycoon Yuriy Sapronov spotted her talent and decided to sponsor her training. They have been living in Kharkiv ever since, although Elina also has a house in Monte Carlo; she switches between the two places regularly.
She had an immensely successful junior career, winning the 2010 French Open girls' title. She also reached the 2012 Wimbledon girls' final, where she lost to Eugenie Bouchard.
Svitolina has become a reliable presence in the top echelons of women's tennis, and at the business end of Grand Slams. With so much time still on her hands, it is expected that she will end up putting together a Hall of Fame career for herself.