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Olympics-Tennis-Ukraine’s Svitolina sets sights on Tokyo podium

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An upset victory over Serena Williams at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro proved to be a breakthrough for Elina Svitolina’s tennis career, but the Ukrainian wants to go a step further in Tokyo and enhance her Olympic reputation with a podium finish. Svitolina was 21 years old and ranked 20th in the world when she ousted American great Williams in the third round of the women’s singles in Rio, but she failed to build on her historic win by falling in the quarterfinals against the Czech Petra Kvitova.

During the post-Olympic season, she won five titles on the WTA Tour to climb to a career-high ranking of third place, and in 2018 she won the season-closing WTA Finals – considered only among the four Grand Slams in status. “The goal for me is to get that Olympic medal,” the newlywed Svitolina told ITFWorld magazine. “I will do my best to prepare well and be ready.

“For my country, the Olympics are something big. They really support you incredibly when the athletes participate in the Olympics, so it’s very special for Ukraine and I will definitely do my best to prepare to get that medal.” Rio was an unforgettable experience for Svitolina, and seeing top athletes from different sports up close compete for glory inspired her.

The world’s current number six got married on Friday to France’s former number six, Gael Monfils, and there may be more happy memories for Svitolina in the next two weeks as she dons the Ukrainian colors and competes at the Ariake Tennis Park. “It’s very special when I play for my country,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if I play the Billie Jean King Cup or the Olympics, it’s something extra and you find this advantage to find more and play better.

“But the Olympics are always an important event and I am extremely proud to represent Ukraine. When the Olympic year comes, I look forward to it and try to prepare as best I can. I want to be remembered as a fighter for my country . I want to win everything I play and I always try to do my best and be my best for Ukraine.”

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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