Svitolina reaches first final as mum in Strasbourg

tennis26 May 2023 19:13| © AFP

Former world No 3 Elina Svitolina reached her first WTA final since becoming a mother last year, beating France's Clara Burel in three sets on Friday in Strasbourg.

The Ukrainian, who returned to action last month after more than a year away, came from behind to defeat Burel 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 and set up a title decider with Anna Blinkova of Russia.

Svitolina, the Strasbourg champion in 2020, was a set and 4-1 down before fighting back to make her first tour-level final since winning the last of her 16 career titles in Chicago two years ago.

She stepped back from tennis in March 2022, in a year that was traumatic for the 28-year-old because of the war in her native Ukraine.

Svitolina has dropped to 508th in the world but will play at the French Open, where she is a three-time quarterfinalist, using a protected ranking.

Blinkova is seeking her second title following a 6-2, 6-2 win over American Lauren Davis in the other semifinal in Strasbourg.