Elina Svitolinaranked 76th in the world, shocked top-seeded Every Swiatek to secure a spot in the semi-finals in a thrilling Wimbledon quarter-final match on Tuesday, just three months after returning from maternity leave.
Svitolina displayed tremendous determination as she battled through a gruelling encounter, ultimately prevailing with a scoreline of 7-5, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2 against the reigning US Open and French Open champion.
The Ukrainian star, a former semi-finalist at Wimbledon in 2019, will now face Marketa Vondrousova from the Czech Republic, vying for a place in the championship match scheduled for Saturday.

Overcoming a series of formidable opponents, including Venus Williams, Sofia Kenin, Victoria Azarenka, and now Swiatek, Svitolina’s journey to the semi-finals has been nothing short of remarkable.
Reflecting on her achievement, she expressed a mix of disbelief and joy, stating, “In my head, I don’t know what’s happening. It’s an unbelievable moment. If you had told me before the tournament I would get to the semi-finals, I’d say you were crazy.”
Grateful for the unwavering support shown by her opponent, Svitolina commended Swiatek’s dedication to Ukraine amidst the recent Russian invasion. Swiatek had organised a benefit exhibition match last year, raising funds for humanitarian causes in Ukraine, and a heavily pregnant Svitolina had served as the chair umpire for the event.

Speaking about Swiatek, Svitolina acknowledged, “Iga is a great champion and an unbelievable person. She was one of the first to help Ukrainian people. It’s not easy to play against someone with whom you share great memories.”
The intense quarter-final encounter saw Swiatek take an early lead by breaking Svitolina’s serve in the opening game. However, the Ukrainian refused to back down, promptly levelling the score in the fourth game. Swiatek managed to regain the advantage with another break and held her serve to reach 4-2.
Yet, Svitolina displayed her fighting spirit, breaking back and equalising the set at 5-5. With Swiatek serving to stay in the set at 5-6, a crucial double fault handed Svitolina the opportunity to claim the set, which she capitalised on when Swiatek pushed a backhand volley wide.


As rain interrupted play, prompting the closure of the Centre Court roof, Swiatek had a chance to regroup. Nonetheless, Svitolina’s momentum continued as she served a love game to kick off the second set. Swiatek managed to secure the first break of the set in the third game, but Svitolina swiftly responded, levelling the score at 3-3. The set concluded in a nail-biting tiebreaker, where Swiatek survived being down 1/4 to force a decider.
Summoning her resolve after the disappointment of losing the second set, Svitolina surged ahead in the final set, securing a double break and racing to a commanding 5-1 lead. The match culminated in victory for Svitolina when Swiatek netted a return, adding to the Polish star’s tally of 41 unforced errors throughout the match.
With her inspiring performance, Svitolina has proven her mettle and her remarkable return to professional tennis following maternity leave.
(With inputs from AFP)


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