2017 French Open player profile: Elina Svitolina

2017 French Open player profile: Elina Svitolina

With a tour-high four titles and 31 match wins, the Ukranian has placed herself amongst the very top favorites heading into Roland Garros.

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John Lupo

Elina Svitolina comes into the French Open on the back of a stellar 2017 season so far, leading the WTA Tour in match wins, titles, ranking points and is at a career-high sixth in the rankings. After reaching the quarterfinals last year, the Ukranian is looking to go a step further in Paris this year.

Notable results to date

Svitolina's year started in Brisbane with a semifinal showing, losing to eventual champion Karolina Pliskova. After withdrawing from Sydney, the Ukranian reached the third round of the Australian Open with easy wins over Galina Voskoboeva and Julia Boserup before losing a close three-setter to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Her next event was her first title of the year, a triumph in Taipei, defeating Peng Shuai in the championship match. She made it back-to-back titles with a win in Dubai, knocking off Angelique Kerber in the semifinals and Caroline Wozniacki in the final.

The 22-year old withdrew before her second round match in Kuala Lumpur as defending champion and at the two North American Premier tournaments, Svitolina took out Qiang Wang and Daria Gavrilova before losing to Garbine Muguruza in Indian Wells while suffering an opening match loss in Miami to Bethanie Mattek-Sands.

Clay court results leading up to Roland Garros

After skipping the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, Svitolina picked up her third title of the year at the Istanbul Cup, defeating Elise Mertens in the final. After a shocking first-round loss to Saisai Zheng at the Mutua Madrid Open, the 22-year old rebounded with her biggest career title at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, defeating Alize Cornet, Mona Barthel, Pliskova, Muguruza and Simona Halep to lift her fourth trophy of the year.

Best French Open result

Svitolina has played the French Open six times. In four main draw appearances, her best prior result was a quarterfinal showing in 2015. After a straight sets win over Yanina Wickmayer, the Ukranian survived a 9-7 third set over Yulia Putintseva, won another three-setter against Annika Beck and knocked out home country favorite Alize Cornet to reach her first major quarterfinal.

In the final eight, Svitolina encountered 2008 Roland Garros champion Ana Ivanovic. Clearly nervous against the Serb, she won just five games in bowing out easily. Ivanovic would go on to lose to Lucie Safarova in the semifinals.

How Svitolina's game translates to this surface

Svitolina has one of the most solid, dependable baseline games on the tour. Her backhand is world-class and her groundstrokes are some of the most consistent on the tour. With excellent movement, crucial to performing well on clay courts, the world number six is rounding into a complete player.

If there are weaknesses in the Svitolina game, it's her serve, especially her second serve, but both have shown signs of improvement this year. With a boatload of confidence coming into Roland Garros off the back of leading the tour in match wins, titles and points, the Ukranian is one of the favorites to lift the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen in two weeks time.

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