Former No 3 Svitolina to make return on Charleston clay

tennis17 March 2023 22:19| © Reuters
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Elina Svitolina © Getty Images

Former world No 3 Elina Svitolina will make her return to the WTA Tour next month at Charleston, ending a maternity layoff of more than a year, organisers announced on Friday.

Svitolina has accepted a wildcard berth into the main draw for the WTA Charleston Open on clay in the South Carolina city on 3-9 April.

The 28-year-old from Ukraine, who is married to Gael Monfils, has not played since last March in Miami. Their daughter Skai was born last October.

Svitolina has been raising awareness on supporting the needs of her homeland since the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year and will host a special Tennis Plays for Peace Pro-Am in Charleston in April to benefit Ukraine and her charity foundation.

"Increasing awareness and raising funds for Ukraine is very important to us as a tournament and to our players," Charleston tournament director Bob Moran said.

"We are passionate about working with Elina, who has a deep and personal understanding of the needs in her home country right now."

Svitolina, who reached the third round at Charleston in 2014 in her only prior start there, has won 16 career WTA singles titles, the most recent at the 2021 Chicago Open.