The London resident talks about her new home city in an exclusive interview with wtatennis.com
Mark Hodgkinson
June 27, 2018

Elina Svitolina is such an anglophile that she has an opinion on Love Island, a British reality television show, and has been picking up a few words and phrases of English slang. Svitolina has also recently moved to London, to a property which is "very close" to the All England Club, and so now considers herself to be "a little bit English". 

So while Svitolina was born in the Black Sea port city of Odessa, and is proudly Ukrainian, Wimbledon is now her 'home' Grand Slam. Or, as she puts it, she is going to be playing "almost at home".

"This summer is going to be the first year playing Wimbledon since I moved to my place in London, and I think that's going to help me at Wimbledon, as it's going to be more like home," Svitolina said in an exclusive interview with wtatennis.com. 

If Svitolina feels more comfortable in London than in the other Grand Slam cities, that could potentially help her to make her breakthrough at the majors. Perhaps this summer will see her reach her first Grand Slam semi-final, and then go even deeper still into the Wimbledon fortnight. 

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While Svitolina enjoys London's "atmosphere", its markets and its festive feel at Christmas, moving to the city was motivated by access to the training facilities, and she hits at Britain's National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, south-west London. She was also attracted by the ease of flying from London to tournaments all over the world.

"I like the atmosphere, I like all the markets, I like it in the city around Christmas time. Wimbledon is a big event in London, which is good, with everyone following tennis. I'm a big football fan as well, so it's a big mixture of everything, which I kind of enjoy," said Svitolina, whose best result at Wimbledon was reaching the fourth round of last summer's Championships. 

"I decided to move to London because of the facilities as I have perfect conditions for training. It's really comfortable for me to fly to the United States or to China or anywhere in Europe. It's quite easy."

She has had an English coach, and has also employed other English staff in her team: "I've worked with English people for years now."

Naturally, Svitolina's liking for all things English extends to the south-west of the city, to the All England Club. She is one of those players who feels at ease in the traditional setting, including adhering to the strict almost-all-white clothing rules. 

"I like the Wimbledon atmosphere. I definitely enjoy being in that environment, and all those traditions. London is that kind of city, where the rules are very strict and the atmosphere is the same at Wimbledon. It's something that sometimes can be tough. But it's an important part of what makes Wimbledon what it is, and what makes it so special," said Svitolina.

"It's different to other tournaments and other rules. I don't mind the rules at all. Playing in London is definitely different to the other events."