Elina Svitolina Beats Iga Swiatek as Massive Underdog, Continues Fairytale Comeback
Shaun Botterill/Getty. Pictured: Elina Svitolina.
While Christopher Eubanks has become the Cinderella story of the men's draw, there's another massive Cinderella run unfolding in the women's draw, and it features one of the coolest stories of the tennis season.
As a +500 underdog, Elina Svitolina upended World No. 1 and four-time Grand Slam champion Iga Swiatek in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, 7-5, 6-7 (5), 6-2. The victory earned her a spot in the semifinals, where she'll meet Marketa Vondrousova.
If you've been a tennis fan for a long time, you may recall that Svitolina was one of the most consistent players of the 2017-2020 era. She reached four Slam quarterfinals, two Slam semifinals, and won the 2018 WTA Finals.
However, this has not been your standard resurgence of a former star. Not only has Svitolina become a mother with her husband, Gael Monfils, but she also hails from Ukraine – a country that has undergone an invasion and has been in battle for over a year.
As Svitolina returned from a year-long break at the Charleston Open this past spring, she was expected to endure a slow journey back to the top of the game — similar to players Victoria Azarenka and Tatjana Maria, both also mothers who took a break from tennis.
Yet, the Ukrainian has become one of the greatest stories of the season, overcoming the odds in a literal and figurative sense.
Thus far at Wimbledon, she has won as an underdog on four consecutive occasions. Svitolina beat Elise Mertens (+130), Sofia Kenin (+120), Victoria Azarenka (+120), and now of course, Swiatek (+500).
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 11, 2023
At the beginning of the tournament, Svitolina was listed at +6600 to win her first Grand Slam title. Now, she's +400, just two wins away from pulling off one of the most inspirational Grand Slam victories in tennis history.
Svitolina will take on Vondrousova on Thursday. If she wins that match, she'll compete in the Wimbledon final on Saturday morning.