Elina Svitolina on reaching French Open QF: "I wouldn't dream about this when I was giving birth"

Elina Svitolina reaches French Open QF
Elina Svitolina reaches French Open QF

Elina Svitolina has entered her first Grand Slam quarterfinal since giving birth to daughter Skai in October last year.

Svitolina went up against No. 9 seed and last year's semi-finalist Daria Kasatkina in the quarterfinals of the 2023 French Open on Sunday. The two women went toe-to-toe, playing long rallies and pushing each other hard. Svitolina was unable to serve out the match at 5-4 and 6-5 in the second set, but she edged past Kasatkina in the tiebreaker to seal a 6-4, 7-6(5) win.

The result is another remarkable feat for Svitolina, who is now on a nine-match winning streak. In her post-match interview, the Ukrainian was visibly emotional and she thanked the French crowd for their support.

"Now I can feel was Gael was experiencing for all these years, and I'm really thankful for all the French people who support me so much. Thank you," Svitolina said.

The 28-year-old then spoke about her remarkable success so quickly after giving birth, and expressed hope of pushing even harder in her next match.

"I wouldn't dream about this when I was giving birth in October last year. You know, it's unbelievable for me to compete here, and then going all the way to the quarter-final is definitely special feeling. And hopefully, I can push even further," she said.

Elina Svitolina has reached the Roland Garros quarterfinals thrice in the past: 2015, 2017, and 2020. This year, she entered the main draw via protected ranking and defeated Martina Trevisan (also a 2022 semi-finalist), Storm Hunter, and Anna Blinkova before taking on Kasatkina.

Next, the Ukrainian will face either World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka or former Roland Garros finalist Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals.

"We have shifts with Gael" - Elina Svitolina on playing her first Grand Slam with her daughter

Gael Monfils watching Svitolina at the 2023 French Open
Gael Monfils watching Svitolina at the 2023 French Open

Elina Svitolina later opened up about how she has managed to practice and play at her first Major with her daughter present. She and her husband Gael Monfils, who was present at Svitolina's last three matches, are taking shifts to watch over Skai, thus giving the Ukrainian enough time to concentrate on her game at the 2023 French Open.

"We spend a lot of great time together off the court, and it is a first time, first tournament for Skai actually. So we know we have shifts with Gael," Svitolina said.

The 28-year-old also spoke about enjoying time with her family and especially with Monfils while playing in Paris.

"We enjoy the company of each other and our quality time as a family," she said.

Elina Svitolina arrived in Paris on the back of winning her first title as a mother, the Strasbourg Open. She has surprised everyone with her mental and physical endurance against top players at the 2023 French Open.

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Edited by Shyam Kamal
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