2017 WTA Finals Player Profile: Elina Svitolina

After the best season of her career, Svitolina will be aiming to make a huge impact when she makes her WTA Finals debut next week. Can the Ukrainian capture an incredible sixth title of 2017?

2017 WTA Finals Player Profile: Elina Svitolina
Svitolina celebrates after winning her fifth title of the season at the Rogers Cup (Getty/Vaughn Ridley)

One of the biggest breakthrough stars of 2017 on the WTA Tour has been Elina Svitolina, with the Ukrainian rising from a solid top-20 player to world number four in the rankings and a potential contender for the world number one ranking when the WTA Finals begin on Sunday.

After by far the best season of her career, in which she has won five titles (more than any other woman on tour) and has also reached the second week at three Grand Slam tournaments, Svitolina will be making her debut appearance in Singapore next week. Svitolina has previously played in the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, though this will be another big step up for her.

Season review

Svitolina has widely been seen as having a lot of potential for quite a few seasons now, and it was this year that the Ukrainian began to live up to that with some stellar performances; after starting the season ranked 14th, she has been ranked as high as third this year, and has won more WTA Titles this season than she had previously won in her career.

Svitolina won her fourth title of the season in Rome (Getty/Michael Steele)
Svitolina won her fourth title of the season in Rome (Getty/Michael Steele)

The Ukrainian reached the third round at the Australian Open this year, though then reached the quarterfinal at the French Open, narrowly missing out on a semifinal berth. Svitolina then reached the fourth round at both Wimbledon and the US Open; though her slam performances haven’t been incredible, each result has either matched or bettered her previous best performance at each slam.

Following her loss in Melbourne, Svitolina won her first title of the season in Taiwan and then followed that with the biggest title of her career so far in Dubai. That win in Dubai would prove to be the first of three Premier Five titles this season, with the Ukrainian also taking titles in Rome and Toronto; she won the first three Premier Five titles of the season. Before Rome she also captured another International title in Istanbul, meaning she has won more titles than any other woman this year.

Svitolina has also had some solid results, such as the last four in Brisbane and the fourth round in Indian Wells. The Ukrainian, however, did also suffer early losses in tournaments such as those in Miami, Madrid, and Cincinnati, and also withdrew from her last tournament in Hong Kong to make sure she was fit enough in time for Singapore.

Best WTA Finals result

As previously mentioned, Svitolina will be making her debut in Singapore this year, though has both times the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai has been held, recording impressive results on both occasions.

Svitolina in action at the WTA Elite Trophy in 2016 (Getty/Power Sport Images)
Svitolina in action at the WTA Elite Trophy in 2016 (Getty/Power Sport Images)

In the first ever edition of the tournament in 2015, the Ukrainian won both her group matches against Andrea Petkovic and Carla Suarez Navarro to reach the last four, where she fell to Karolina Pliskova. Last season, Svitolina once again won both her group matches, beating Elena Vesnina and Kiki Bertens, before beating Johanna Konta to make the final; there, she fell to Petra Kvitova.

Though she has never played at the year-end showpiece before, Svitolina has proven throughout this season that she is capable of beating big names and winning big titles, The Ukrainian will be seeded fourth in Singapore, and will be a huge danger to anyone she faces.