Elina Svitolina finished off 2016 as world number 14 and only claiming one title on the year. The Ukrainian was looking for a breakthrough in a major way to get her into the top-10 for the first time in her career. She did just that in what was a magnificent 2017 for her.
Svitolina claimed three Premier titles and went won five titles on the year. She finished the season at world number six after reaching a career-high of world number three.
The world number six managed to go 53-14 on the year, winning just under 80 percent of her matches. The best win-loss stat for Svitolina of the year has to be when the trophy was on the line in finals. The Ukrainian went unbeaten, capturing all five titles when she reached the finals.
The Ukrainian's rise to the top of the women's game began during a two-tournament run in Taipei City and Dubai. She entered the Taipei City, moving up one ranking spot and an earlier than expected Australian Open exit. As the top seed, she took advantage of a depleted draw to capture her first title of the year.
She extended her winning streak after winning two Fed Cup rubbers against Australia and went on to roll her way to a Premier 5 title in Dubai. The seven seed trounced top seed Angelique Kerber in the semifinal and rolled 10th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki to claim a first-ever Premier 5 title.
The clay season saw Svitolina claim two more titles, and just like in January-February, she claimed an International title before winning a Premier 5 title. The world number six entered Istanbul as the top seed and overcame a 0-6 set against qualifier Victoria Kamenskaya in her opening match to prevail in three sets. After that, she did not drop a set en route to a third title of the season.
Rome provided the fourth title and second Premier 5 of Svitolina's season. On the way to taking the title, she defeated Karolina Pliskova, Garbiñe Muguruza, and Simona Halep. The Ukrainian was a set down to Halep before making her comeback.
Her last title of the season came in Toronto where the world number six was stunningly brilliant again. After overcoming Daria Kasatkina in her opener, she took out Venus Williams, Muguruza, Halep, and Wozniacki, who were all seeded.
Svitolina performed well in Grand Slams this year as well. She either matched or bested her previous career-best results this year. At the Australian Open, she made the third round, reached the French Open quarterfinal, and had career-best showings at both Wimbledon and the US Open, reaching the fourth round.
One of the most disappointing matches of Svitolina's season and her career had to be during the French Open quarterfinal against Halep. Up a set and 5-1, the Ukrainian had chances to close out the match to reach her first career Grand Slam semifinal. Halep did not back down, winning five straight games to go up 6-5. Svitolina managed to get it to a tiebreak but squandered match point as Halep took the breaker and rolled in the final set, winning 6-0.
The US Open was another disappointment for the world number six. After putting up a dud in the opening set tiebreak in her fourth round encounter against Madison Keys, she stormed her way to a 6-1 second set to give her the momentum heading into the decider. Keys overpowered her to eventually take the match as the American went on to reach the final.
In her first-ever appearance at the WTA Finals in Singapore, Svitolina had an opener to forget, absolutely getting rocked by Wozniacki. She rebounded with a better performance against Caroline Garcia but still lost. She picked up her first-ever win at the year-end event over Halep but was still not enough to qualify.
There weren't too many down points in what was a fantastic season for Svtiolina. Five titles in five finals and reaching a career-high of world number three has shown us she is ready to take the next step. Starting the season as world number six, she'll look to improve upon what was already a brilliant 2017, and it will start with trying to reach the second week of the Australian Open for the first time in her career.