2017 Wimbledon player profile: Elina Svitolina

With a remarkable first part of the season already under her belt, 4th seed Elina Svitolina will reach the Wimbledon Championship looking for a payback for the hard loss that denied her of her first Grand Slam semifinal of the year at the French Open. The 22-year-old had never gone past the second round at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, but she has all the chances to improve her record.

Svitolina in action at 2017 French Open [photo credit: Adam Pretty/Getty Images]                       

Notable results to date

Svitolina started her 2017 season in Brisbane, reaching the semifinals with an important victory over world number one Angelique Kerber. That would be her third victory over the world number one in few months, having already defeated Kerber once at 2016 China Open, and Serena Williams at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Her run came to an end in the semifinals, where she fell to eventual winner Karolina Pliskova in two sets.

At the Australian Open, she didn’t pull out a good performance, losing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round. 

She bounced back to win her first title of the year in Taipei City, without needing to defeat any player ranked inside the top 50.

With two wins in the Fed Cup tie against Australia, Svitolina went up to a 13-matches winning streak with her run in Dubai. She defeated Kerber once again in the semifinals and then got rid of Caroline Wozniacki in two sets in the final to claim her first Premier 5 title. The win allowed her to make her top-10 debut for the first time in career.

Svitolina poses with her trophy in Dubai [photo credit: Tom Dulat/Getty Images]                        

After an early exit in Kuala Lumpur, where she withdrew in the second round, she moved to Indian Wells, reaching the round of 16 but falling to Garbiñe Muguruza in three sets, ending a 15-matches winning streak. In Miami, she lost in the second round to Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Svitolina started her clay season with another title, claiming the Istanbul crown without facing big challenges. She couldn’t back it up in Madrid, losing in the first round to qualifier Zheng Saisai.

She then scored her biggest result on clay with her run at the Italian Open, with wins over Pliskova and Muguruza to reach the final, where she met an in-form Simona Halep, just crowned champion in Madrid. Svitolina won the final in three sets and claimed her second Premier 5 title, which led her to the number one spot in the Race to Singapore.

At the French Open, she reached the quarterfinals, where once again she met up with Halep. Svitolina was up 6-3, 5-1 when Halep took total control of the match, eventually defeating her 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-0, ending her run with a loss hard to cope with.

Svitolina poses with her trophy in Rome [photo credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images]                     

Grass court results leading up to Wimbledon

Svitolina chose to start her grass-court season competing at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham. She won her debut match against Heather Watson, but then fell in three sets against Camila Giorgi in the second round. Svitolina later admitted a foot injury that prevented her from playing at her best, and that put her presence at the Championships momentarily in doubt.

Svitolina in action at Aegon Classic in Birmingham [photo credit: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images]               

Best Wimbledon results

2012’s runner-up in the junior tournament, Svitolina had never centered brilliant wins in the third major of the year, which is currently her worst one in term of results, with a 2-4 win/loss rate and the second round as her best achievement. She managed to win a match at the Championships only two times in her career, in the last two editions of the tournament. In 2015, she defeated Misaki Doi - who had defeated her in the first round the previous year - but lost right away to Casey Dellacqua. In 2016, she got past Naomi Broady but then lost to Yaroslava Shvedova the following round.

Svitolina at 2015 Wimbledon Championships [photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images]             

How Svitolina’s game translates to grass

Grass isn’t the best surface for Svitolina’s game, as the results could tell. She currently holds a record of 4 wins and 10 losses on the WTA tour, with her best result being the quarterfinal reached in s’Hertogenbosch in 2014. Svitolina is a baseliner who can count on a discreet amount of power, good movements, and a strong backhand. She didn’t possess a very powerful serve that could help her on a surface that often lead to quick points rather than long rallies.

Svitolina will start her Wimbledon campaign against Birmingham finalist Ashleigh Barty. The pair had met once in the Fed Cup tie against Australia, where the Ukrainian had won in three sets.