Former World No. 3 Elina Svitolina will return to tennis after more than a 12-month absence when she competes in next month’s Charleston Open in South Carolina.
Svitolina, 28, last played in the Miami Open in March 2022 before taking a break from the sport due to the mental aspect of Russia invading her native Ukraine, as well as a back injury.
During her sabbatical, Svitolina later announced she and husband Gael Monfils (a men’s tennis player) were expecting a child. Her daughter, Skai, was born in October.
Svitolina was awarded a main-draw wild card into the WTA 500 clay-court event, which runs April 3-9.
Svitolina also is teaming up with the Charleston Open and WTA Charities for a Tennis Plays for Peace Pro-Am in support of Ukraine and the Elina Svitolina Foundation.
“Increasing awareness and raising funds for Ukraine is very important to us as a tournament and to our players,” tournament director Bob Moran said in a news release. “We are passionate about working with Elina, who has a deep and personal understanding of the needs in her home country right now, to further exemplify the mission of Tennis Plays for Peace and stand united with Ukraine.”
Svitolina has won 16 career titles and is a two-time Grand Slam semifinalist, advancing that far at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2019. Her career-best No. 3 ranking came in September 2017.
Belinda Bencic of Switzerland is the defending champion.
–Field Level Media