“The Ukrainian flag really helped me today to fight”: Elina Svitolina
Ukraine’s no.1 seed in tennis, Elina Svitolina, extended her undefeated record with a win over Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova to reach the quarterfinals.
As Ukrainian Elina Svitolina took on Bulgarian competitor Viktoriya Tomova in the Abierto GNP Seguros tournament, someone in the crowd was waving a Ukrainian flag and saying, “Ukrainians never give up!”
This message inspired Svitolina, who said she wasn’t playing her best, but felt motivated to keep fighting. “I think Viktoriya played a really good match, and I had to really fight back in the third set to bring back my best game and try to come back in the match," Svitolina said. "In the end, I managed to win six games in a row, so it's a good effort for me.”
This is Svitolina’s second appearance at this event and in her previous, she won the 2020 title. She is a perfect 7-0 at the tournament. She is the former World No.3, but she still struggled to keep No.103 Tomova at bay, finally getting the victory in two hours and 24 minutes after converting her fifth break point to bring up a tiebreaker, which she opened with a 4-0 lead and held it.
Svitolina said that the inspirational messages about Ukrainians from the crowd really helped her to keep pushing in the match. “It was an extremely tough first set, second set didn't go my way, and then the third set I was 0-2 down,” said Svitolina. "And you know, the Ukrainian flag really helped me today to fight. And as she screamed that Ukrainians never give up, and it was really speaking to me. I was just fighting until the very end, and I found my game in the end."