Elina Svitolina gets real on expectations now after successful post-pregnancy return


Elina Svitolina gets real on expectations now after successful post-pregnancy return
© Getty Images Sport - Darrian Traynor

Elina Svitolina acknowledges she is aware the expectations on her have increased following a strong start to her post-pregnancy comeback but highlights that her focus remains on putting in the hard work and staying healthy.

Svitolina, who was out for 13 months and at one point ranked at No. 1344 in the world, won a WTA 250 title in Strasbourg less than two months after kicking off her post-pregnancy comeback. Then, Svitolina impressively made the French Open quarterfinal before also making the Wimbledon semifinal. 

At the start of this season, Svitolina also made some notable results as she was runner-up in Auckland and reached the Australian Open round-of-16 before an unfortunate back injury forced her to retire against Linda Noskova. After the Australian Open, Svitolina also returned to the top-20 for the first time since 2022 April. 

Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

After taking some time off to address her back injury, Svitolina is returning to action at a WTA 1000 tournament in Dubai.

Svitolina addresses her expectations ahead of Dubai

“I would say now there are more expectations from me, because people now see that I can play and I can win some titles and I can challenge big players,” Svitolina said in Dubai.

“But for me it’s really important to put the work in every day, in every practice. Just keep focused on the work that I have to do and the priority really is to be healthy. When I’m healthy I can play well, I can go far in the tournaments, so for me that’s the priority right now.”

Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina© Getty Images Sport - Hannah Peters

In the Dubai first round, Svitolina will be taking on fellow Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina. For Svitolina, 29, and 27-year-old Kalinina, it is going to be their second meeting. Their first and lone meeting came a long time ago as Svitolina beat Kalinina at an ITF event in 2013 in Donetsk. 

In the past, Svitolina enjoyed big success in Dubai as she won back-to-back titles at the tournament in 2017 and 2018.

Elina Svitolina