Svitolina to return to tennis in Charleston
Elina Svitolina is set to make her return to the Hologic WTA Tour next month at the Credit One Charleston Open.
The former World No.3 will join five current Top 10 players at the storied WTA 500 event, having accepted a main-draw wildcard. Svitolina last played a year ago in Miami, before taking time off and giving birth to her first child, daughter Skaï with husband and fellow tennis pro Gael Monfils.
After Skaï’s October birth, Svitolina began chronicling her return to training on social media. The Ukrainian will also have a new coach for her return: Raemon Sluiter, best known as the coach who helped now-retired Dutchwoman Kiki Bertens reach the Top 10, will be coaching Svitolina in her comeback as per a report from the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.
Ukraine’s most prolific player has spent her maternity leave being a vocal advocate for her home country in the wake of Russia’s invasion last year. She is an ambassador for United 24, the foundation founded by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to collect financial donations for Ukraine in the wake of the war, and her namesake charity foundation has raised funds for refugees and affected children.
Svitolina speaks of ‘bigger mission’ in return to Ukraine
In continuation of these efforts, Svitolina has partnered with the Charleston tournament and WTA Charities to host a special Tennis Plays for Peace Pro-Am in April, benefitting Ukraine and the Elina Svitolina Foundation.
“Increasing awareness and raising funds for Ukraine is very important to us as a tournament and to our players,” tournament director Bob Moran said in a statement. “We are passionate about working with Elina, who has a deep and personal understanding of the needs in her home country right now, to further exemplify the mission of Tennis Plays for Peace and stand united with Ukraine.”
The Credit One Charleston Open will be played from April 1-9.