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Ukrainian tennis player Svitolina beats Russian opponent in WTA final

by Asami Terajima May 27, 2023 8:03 PM 1 min read
Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in action against Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine in the first round on Day Three of the Internazionali BNL D'Italia at Foro Italico on May 10, 2023 in Rome, Italy (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)
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Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina defeated her Russian opponent Anna Blinkova on May 27 at the final of the Internationaux de Strasbourg tournament in France, claiming her first Women's Tennis Association (WTA) victory since giving birth to a baby girl.

Svitolina, who became the first Ukrainian woman to break into the world's top 3 in 2017, won her second Internationaux de Strasbourg title with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over the 24-year-old Russian tennis player.

The match lasted about an hour and a half. Svitolina, a 28-year-old from Odesa, won the 17th career title, and the first since the last victory in Chicago at the WTA 250 in 2021.

Svitolina is currently ranked No. 508 in the WTA ranking, according to the Women's Tennis Association.

Due to a severe back injury and the toll of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Svitolina announced a break from tennis in March 2022. Soon, she gave birth to her daughter Skaï in October 2022.

The Ukrainian tennis player returned to the sport in April at the Credit One Charleston Open in the U.S., where she lost in the Round of 64 match to Kazakh player Yulia Putintseva.

Svitolina played five more professional tournaments before taking part in the Internationaux de Strasbourg tournament in France. Before the May 27 victory, Svitolina's biggest success after the year-long break was reaching the semi-final at the WTA 125K Saint-Malo in France in early May.

Outside of the court, Svitolina has been vocal about expelling Russian and Belarussian athletes from international sporting events.

In a February interview with the Associated Press in Kyiv, the Olympic bronze medalist called for banning Russian and Belarusian athletes from competing in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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