Ukraine's Elina Svitolina reaches French Open quarterfinals eight months after becoming a mother

The Ukrainian defeated Daria Kasatkina and opted not to shake hands with the Russian in protest against the war in Ukraine

By AFP

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Ukraine's Elina Svitolina celebrates after winning against Russia's Daria Kasatkina. – AFP
Ukraine's Elina Svitolina celebrates after winning against Russia's Daria Kasatkina. – AFP

Published: Sun 4 Jun 2023, 10:00 PM

Elina Svitolina, playing her first Grand Slam since becoming a mother, reached the French Open quarterfinals for the fourth time on Sunday.

The Ukrainian defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) for a seventh win in seven meetings against the Russian who was a semifinalist last year.


As with all her matches, Svitolina opted not to shake hands with her Russian opponent in protest at the war in Ukraine.

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Kasatkina still gave her rival a friendly thumbs-up.

"The support was really special today," said the 28-year-old Svitolina who has been adopted as an honorary Frenchwoman due to her marriage to French tennis star Gael Monfils.

"Now I know what Gael has experienced all these years."

Svitolina, also a quarterfinalist in Paris in 2015, 2017 and 2020, saw a match point disappear in the 10th game of the second set but made no mistake on her second chance in the tiebreaker.

"When I was giving birth to our daughter in October, I never believed I would go all the way to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam," she added.

"It's a special feeling. I hope I can push even further. I am really motivated to give everything in my next matches."

Svitolina will face either world number two and Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka or former US Open winner Sloane Stephens for a place in what would be her third semifinal at the majors.


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