Tennis: 'Drained' Svitolina to sit out French Open

Agence France-Presse

Posted at May 12 2022 10:22 AM

Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina returns a ball against Colombian Camila Osorio, during a match on day 5 of the Monterrey Tennis Open, WTA 250 tournament, in Monterrey, Mexico, 04 March 2022. Miguel Sierra, EPA-EFE
Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina returns a ball against Colombian Camila Osorio, during a match on day 5 of the Monterrey Tennis Open, WTA 250 tournament, in Monterrey, Mexico, 04 March 2022. Miguel Sierra, EPA-EFE

PARIS, France -- Former world number three Elina Svitolina of Ukraine said on Wednesday she will skip the French Open, telling AFP the Russian invasion of her country had been "draining."

"Unfortunately this year is going to be the year that I'm going to miss it," Svitolina replied when asked if she would play at Roland Garros, which runs from May 22 to June 5.

Svitolina, 27, has not played since announcing at the end of March she was taking a break from tennis because of mental and physical exhaustion. She lost in her opening match at both Indian Wells and Miami.

"Right now my focus is my family and my foundation (for children and tennis)," said Svitolina, whose home city of Odessa has come under Russian missile strikes this week.

Svitolina's parents and brother are no longer based in Ukraine, but other family members remain in Odessa and "are all hiding in the basement".

"Mentally it's been draining each time trying to keep in contact, seeing all these horrible things happening to our people, to the family," said Svitolina.

"Not knowing what comes tomorrow, or in one hour, this is really scary for all the Ukrainians... and it's a constant worry."

© Agence France-Presse