Speed, agility and initiating the unexpected when properly applied can create the small degree of separation that the most elite athletes need to inch ahead of the equally talented.

As of this August 6, 2017 writing, due to Serena Williams starting a family, the reigning Queen of Tennis will not compete at the US Open leaving a massive window of opportunity for a plethora of the top WTA female warriors to break through and win the coveted tournament title.

One of those in the running is the Ukrainian beauty Elina Svitolina, currently ranked at number five.

fciwomenswrestling.com article,By si.robi – Svitolina WM17 (25) wikimedia

In watching her matches she has a style similar to many we’ve seen before.

Elina has a complete baseline game.

Her groundstrokes are very consistent and are hit with moderate-to-big power. Her backhand is probably her stronger side, especially with her backhand down the line, but both of her groundstrokes penetrate the court well.

She has developed beautiful strong legs and demonstrates good movement around the court and is capable of hitting very accurate shots on the run.

It’s been observed that Elina’s weakness is probably her volleying at the net as she has been known to struggle with that aspect of her game.

If she is able to separate herself from the pack something in her game needs to peak.

“The quarterback has to get rid of the ball quickly, so there’s not a lot of time to make moves to gain separation.”… John Madden

She certainly has peaked at certain moments in her career as she did when she solidly defeated Serena Williams in Rio and Caroline Wozniacki in Dubai.

Let’s meet her and see what stands apart.

First let’s peek at her resume.

Elina has won eight WTA singles titles, her biggest coming at Premier 5-level tournaments, the Dubai Tennis Championships and the Italian Open, both in 2017.

At the 2015 French Open, she reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal where she was defeated by former champion Ana Ivanovic. In February 2017, after winning the title in Dubai, Svitolina made history by becoming the first Ukrainian woman to break into the top 10 rankings.

Throughout her career, Elina has scored victories over the likes of Grand Slam champions Ana Ivanovic, Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber, Garbiñe Muguruza and Petra Kvitová.

She also has four wins over a world number one with three over Kerber and one as previously mentioned over Serena.

She won her first WTA title in at the 2013 Baku Cup by beating Shahar Pe’er; in doing so, Svitolina became the first teenager to win a WTA tournament since February 2012.

Very impressive. Now that is separation.

While some of the top stars struggled in early 2017, Lina made some impressive moves.

She began her 2017 campaign with a strong showing in Brisbane, defeating world number one Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals, before losing to eventual champion Karolína Plíšková in the following round.

The victory over Kerber signified her third win over a number 1 ranked player in 5 months. Svitolina was seeded 11th at the Australian Open, her highest seeding to date.

Viewing her 2017 surge, there is strong possibility that she can begin to make her move and separate herself from the pack on the courts.

Off the courts is another matter.

What she recently stated publicly separated herself off the courts.

Let’s take a Dixie Cup and place our ears to the wall. Okay, listen in.

As published on July 5, 2017 at dailymail.co.uk (what would we do without the British Press?), “Wimbledon star Elina Svitolina today hit back at John McEnroe’s controversial claim that Serena Williams would struggle on the men’s tennis circuit.

The 58-year-old BBC commentator McEnroe provoked fury when he said Williams would be ‘like 700’ in the world tennis rankings if she played on the men’s tour.

But Svitolina, 22, said it was ‘very wrong’ that men dismiss women players as ‘very low level’ – and it was ‘disrespectful’ to compare men and women competitors.

She told the London Evening Standard: ‘On that period of time to say that it is really not nice. To say that to her with her baby… is very disrespectful.

‘But we do not know what he meant by this comment. I think the men are thinking we are very low level. I think it is very wrong. ‘We are strong mentally, much stronger I think than most of the guys. This is our strength. We don’t need to answer these questions.”

Hmm, it seems like Johnny Mac will not be receiving any Ukrainian Christmas Cards this year.

Okay Elina, while we agree with much of what you said, we’re not sure that it’s the best career move to get involved in a war of words with the legendary tennis bad boy turned elder statesman, 90’s front man for the Johnny Smyth Band, art gallery connoisseur and touring author.

Well, those comments certainly separated her from her upper echelon contemporaries but that wasn’t quite the separation we had in mind.

Especially when he’s not speaking directly about you.

In terms of controversy, you wouldn’t know it watching her play because she is such a steady hand and her matches are not packaged with on court drama but visiting her site we can see that she does have a colorful personality.

As we knock on her door at svitolina.com (without John McEnroe’s latest book), she smiles in the third person, “Apart from tennis – her greatest passion, Elina enjoys wake-boarding, watching soccer and reading books. Her favorite writer is Nicholas Sparks.

The tennis idols who inspire Elina on court are Andre Agassi, Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters. People most admired by her are the Klitschko brothers and Michael Jackson. Elina is a dedicated hip hop fan and Eminem ranks on top of her list.”

Wait a minute. Did you guys see John McEnroe’s name anywhere on that list?

She continues, “Not surprisingly, the favorite tournament of Ukraine’s number one is the US Open. The reason is that Elina is in love with New York, as much as she loves Chinese food and watching Johnny Depp’s movies.”

Okay, so she likes watching Johnny Depp movies. We were waiting for her to mention she also loves reading John McEnroe quotes about women’s tennis.

You see? We told you so. Elina has a colorful personality.

She certainly has separated herself off the courts.

Now we have become more excited about watching her create separation on the courts.

2017 US Open? We can’t wait to see what happens.

She said it best herself at her website, “As a player I would say I’m aggressive and fiercely competitive, but as a person I would say independent and relaxed.”


Please insert (except when it comes to John McEnroe quotes) after the word relaxed.

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OPENING PHOTO fciwomenswrestling.com article, photo via South China Morning Post