If you follow tennis, you may know Elina Svitolina. As of publication, she’s the No. 4 women’s singles player in the world. Her all-time high ranking occurred for the first time in 2017 and again in September 2019 when she reached the No. 3 spot. While Svitolina isn’t as famous as Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka yet, she’s emerging as one to watch.
Elina Svitolina before tennis
The Ukrainian tennis pro was born on September 12, 1994, to Mykhaylo and Olena Svitolina. She has played tennis since she was five years old after watching her only brother Yulian play. Svitolina speaks both Russian and English and enjoys many American music artists — Eminem, AC/DC, and Bruno Mars — and books, like author Nicholas Sparks’ work.
She grew up idolizing Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, and Serena Williams, as well as pro athletes Kobe Bryant and Nik Vujicic. In her free time, Svitolina wakeboards, studies business and economics, and reads. She is a huge fan of Johnny Depp movies and Chinese food, but her favorite dishes are still her mom and grandma’s Ukrainian meals.
Svitolina turns pro at a young age
Currently coached by Andrew Bettles, Svitolina first tasted success at the 2010 Roland Garros when she won the girls’ title at age 15. She turned pro soon after. The now-25-year-old explained, “Winning Junior Roland Garros gave me a taste of what it would be like for the senior slams. Now my ambition is to win all four Grand Slams.”
As a professional tennis player, Svitolina quickly worked her way up the ranks to become the No. 4 women’s singles player in the world. Her Ukrainian ranking is even more impressive, though, as the No. 1 female tennis player.
She’s quite interesting
As a female tennis player, Svitolina finds herself compared to her peers more than male tennis players, but tennis is one of the sports paving the way for gender equality. Svitolina is a star in her own right. At 5-foot-9 and 132 pounds, this right-handed pro is passionate about the game. Here are a few things that make her stand out:
- Her favorite shot is actually her serve.
- She prefers playing on hard or clay surfaces.
- Svitolina has some pretty notable sponsors, including Nike and Wilson.
- She considers herself an aggressive, fiercely competitive player.
- Svitolina is No. 9 on the list of the top 10 highest-paid female athletes, having made $6.1 million in 2018.
- She’s played at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the Australian Open, and Roland Garros.
What makes Svitolina great
Let’s dig a little deeper. Granted, Svitolina has a ways to go to beat some of the craziest tennis records of all time. But she’s not doing too bad either. Here are Svitolina’s current tennis stats:
- Career singles titles: 13
- Career doubles titles: 2
- Career matches won: 226
- Career matches lost: 124
- Highest rank for singles: No. 3 (2017, 2019)
- Highest rank for doubles: No. 108 (2015)
- Career prize money: $15,125,521
Not bad for a 25-year-old — and she’s not planning on going anywhere. Keep an eye on Svitolina.