Home » Wimbledon 2023 semi-finals: Elina Svitolina hopes to continue ‘crazy’ run

Wimbledon 2023 semi-finals: Elina Svitolina hopes to continue ‘crazy’ run

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Wimbledon 2023 semi-finals: Elina Svitolina hopes to continue ‘crazy’ run

Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 JulyCoverage: Live across BBC TV, radio and online with extensive coverage on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, Connected TVs and mobile app. More coverage details here.

Ukrainian Elina Svitolina says it is “crazy” she is in the Wimbledon semi-finals nine months after giving birth and amid the mental impact of the war in her homeland.

The 28-year-old faces Czech player Marketa Vondrousova on Thursday.

Svitolina gave birth in October and returned to the WTA Tour three months ago, hoping to “bring a little happiness” to the people of Ukraine.

“I know that lots of people back in Ukraine are watching,” Svitolina said.

“It definitely means a lot.”

Svitolina and Vondrousova will open play on Centre Court from 13:30 BST.

They will be followed by last year’s runner-up Our Jabeurwho faces Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka.

Svitolina, who has never won a Grand Slam, knocked out world number one Iga Swiatek in the quarter-finals.

She reached the quarter-finals of the French Open last month in her first Grand Slam appearance since giving birth.

She has beaten four major champions – Venus Williams, Sofia Kenin, Victoria Azarenka and Swiatek – on her way to the last four at Wimbledon.

But, asked if she could win the tournament, she said: “You crazy?!

“I don’t think so much about it – well, until you told me this. I take one match at a time.

“I know that there is few matches left to get that trophy.”

Svitolina said her husband Gael Monfils, the French former world number six, will stay home with daughter Skai rather than sitting courtside for her third major semi-final.

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“I’m not really superstitious, but I don’t want to jinx few things,” Svitolina said.

“He’s happy at home. He’s watching from home with Skai and with my parents, as well.”

Czech world number 42 Vondrousova upset fourth seed Jessica Pegula in the previous round and has won her last two meetings with Svitolina.

Vondrousova, who reached the final of the 2019 French Open but had otherwise not reached a Slam quarter-final before this week, said her husband will also be missing because he has to look after their cat.

“He has to stay home,” she said.

Jabeur expects ‘plenty of shouting’ against Sabalenka

Tunisia’s Jabeur, who beat defending champion Elena Rybakina on Wednesday, meets Belarusian second seed Sabalenka in the second semi-final.

Rybakina had previously beaten Jabeur in last year’s final and the Tunisian said she is out for “revenge” again, having loss to Sabalenka in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2021.

“It’s going to be a very difficult match,” she said.

“Probably her shouting that way, me shouting this way.

“Aryna is more emotional than Elena, so it could be a good or bad thing, I’m not sure. But let’s see.”

The pair have not met this year but did practise together before Wimbledon.

“I felt like she’s going to do well here because she played unbelievable tennis on the practice court,” Sabalenka added.

“I know it’s different on practice than on match. She was able to bring this level on matches.”

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