Elina Svitolina’s career has reached new heights and she now stands at No.5 in the WTA rankings and she is one of the most consistent players on tour. Svitolina’s year took a turn for the worst today at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham as she discovered she is carrying an achilles injury that could halt her chances of playing at the thirrd Grand Slam of the year next month.
Svitolina struggled to move in a three-set defeat to the power-player Camila Giorgi and later talked about the extent of the injury that has potentially hindered the progress of her grass court season, which is a period of the season where she usually struggles anyway.
The real dilemma for the Ukrainian No.1 is whether to gamble on the remainder of the season and go ahead and play Wimbledon. Wimbledon is a unique and special tournament with distinctive characteristics, but Svitolina has to make the decision of playing a grass court period and potentially worsen the already problematic injury that is clearly bothering her.
Svitolina shared her injury woes to the press, while she looked disappointed more with the doubts over her 2017 season rather than the result of losing to a talented Giorgi.
“I was not 100 percent today. I still have the issue with my leg. And yeah, I’m not even like disappointed — ofcourse, I’m disappointed I’m out of the tournament, but I’m not disappointed about my performance because I couldn’t really show even like 50 percent of what I can do. I still have pain. And yeah, I think I will have one week preparation for Wimbledon. But for me, I don’t want to endanger the end of the season. So that’s why, I mean, it’s very tough to think about Wimbledon, because, you know, it can be very painful as well.”
From being in her press conference you almost got the sense that Svitolina, who is only 22-years-of-age, has a wise head on her shoulders and was immediately thinking of the bigger picture and how this injury could affect the more important tournaments and surfaces for her. You have to remember that last season she had an immense hardc ourt swing, making the final in New Haven, semi-final in Tokyo, semi-final in Beijing and a stellar finish to the year in Zhuhai, where she lost to Petra Kvitova in the final.
So it is natural for Svitolina to have one eye on the tournaments that she tends to perform better in, and to, ultimately, defend her ranking, which she has worked so hard to get to a career-high of No.5.
The Roland Garros quarterfinalist reiterated that she would contact her team, discuss the pros and cons of her imminent decision about Wimbledon, but the overriding feeling was that she was worried about jeopardising her chances for Singapore.
“That’s why, you know, I don’t want to put in danger, as I said, the end of the year because the start of the year was amazing, and I’m on the right path to Singapore my main goal for the year. So it’s going to be a very tough decision what I’m going to do, but for the moment I will take the time to think about it, to see the physio and think with my team what’s the best.”
Will the rising Svitolina make the difficult decision of skipping a prestigious Slam to prioritise one of her favourite hard court swings? At the moment it looks like she’s considering that option and that in the coming days she will make that announcement with conviction over whether to rally through the grass court swing in its entirety.