By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday July 11, 2023
Elina Svitolina knocked Iga Swiatek out of Wimbledon in a dramatic three-set affair on Centre Court on Tuesday, but the bond between the two players is strong and remains so, even after their hotly contested quarterfinal.
That’s because Swiatek has been one of the strongest voices of support for Ukraine ever since Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine began last February. Now, with the war 500 days old, Swiatek continues to wear a ribbon in support of Ukraine and offers help whenever she can.
In light of Swiatek’s support, Svitolina directed these kind words to the Pole after her victory.
“Yeah, definitely Iga is not only a great champion, she’s also an unbelievable person,” she told the crowd. “She was one of the first ones that really really helped Ukrainian people. And you know it was a huge help for Ukraine. For sure It’s not easy to play against someone that you share lots of good moments with, and I think for her as well it was not easy, but in the end I’m just really proud of the effort that I did today.”
Last summer, Svitolina joined Swiatek in Krakow for “Iga and Friends,” an event that raised 422,000 euros for a trio of organizations that provide war relief inside Ukraine.
Initially, per WTA Insider, Swiatek wanted Svitolina to play, but she couldn’t play because she was pregnant with her first child (Skai, who was born on October 15 last year). Svitolina was there in support and Agniezska Radwanska played the competitive set with Swiatek at the event..
🇵🇱🇺🇦To był absolutnie wyjątkowy dzień. Potrzebuję chwili na zebranie myśli, ale póki co chcę Wam z tego miejsca podziękować za to, że byliście z nami.
🇵🇱🇺🇦It’s been absolutely unforgetable day. I still need to wrap my mind around it and for now I just want to thank you all. pic.twitter.com/BzTgqQSe4Q
— Iga Świątek (@iga_swiatek) July 23, 2022
The pair shared a warm embrace after Tuesday’s quarterfinal, which was Svitolina’s seventh career win over a reigning World No.1.
“It was a really, really an unbelievable feeling for me,” Svitolina said “I was fighting – it was not easy today to play against Iga obviously. She’s world number one, she’s always fighting but today it was an unbelievable match and I’m really happy I could win this one.