Elina Svitolina has established herself as one of the great players on the WTA circuit. However, behind his successful career lies a history marked by sacrifice, perseverance and coping with the pressure his family imposed on him.
The Ukrainian was sincere in Behind The Racquet, where he reviewed how he has forged his career and the tough moments after defeats, something that seems to have been overcome. “Compared to other players, my career has been gradual. I always tried to take a step on time, trying not to miss the moment to improve my game. I've played $ 10,000, $ 25,000 events and went from there to the Grand Slams. I played in the biggest tournaments and tried to get into the Top-10, but I put a lot of pressure on myself. No matter what ranking you have, you always want more. When I was 30 in the world, I thought 'If I was in the Top-10 I would be happy', but when I was in the Top-10 I cried after losing games. That never ends and it is never enough. I learned to enjoy every game, even in the toughest battles. I've been in the Top-10 for three years and it's important to keep a constant frame of mind and bring it into the game. “
Svitolina also reviewed how she managed to forge her own path to overcome difficult times. “When I was making the leap from juniors to the professional circuit, I had many doubts. People expect you to improve faster and compare yourself to other players your same age but with higher rankings. You have that negative voice in your head and but you also have to put aside doubts and work hard every day because, in tennis, everyone works hard but only a few players show good results. It is very important to pave your own path and this will help you through difficult times. “
The Ukrainian emphasized the pressure put on her by her parents, who have accompanied her in her matches until five years ago and how this fact affected her tennis. “I think the hardest thing was that my parents got involved in tennis. No matter when or where I played, they always followed me. Parents who get involved in tennis, especially when you try to make a career, add extra pressure . This mixture of pressure from my family and my expectations was very hard, especially when I lost in the first round and struggling to improve my ranking. My parents wanted me to win every game. At one point it is important for each parent to step aside and my parents did it five years ago. It was important to me to have my own independence. When my parents stopped traveling with me, I didn't count on them. If I lost a game, it was only my fault and so I found my way. I still think about my childhood. Maybe it could have been better if my parents hadn't pushed me that hard. However, those hard times have helped me become the person I am. “
Finally Svitolina took stock of everything tennis has given her life. “I went out there very young. I have an older brother who used to play tennis and we started traveling to tournaments when I was little. It was a challenge to be away from home, but when I thought about my goals and what I wanted to achieve, that motivated me. I wanted to restart my goals every year so that it didn't seem like a constant cycle of traveling and losing, because I lost almost every week. I set myself short and long-term goals. That helped me keep going. Playing in front of people and winning tournaments gave me energy and motivation. Tennis has given me everything. I am very lucky to have chosen tennis as my profession because it has taught me a lot: discipline, meeting fantastic people and seeing incredible places. Tennis has given me life. “