Elina Svitolina Australian Open 2018

‘We can do much more’ – Elina Svitolina will donate all prize money to Ukraine amidst ongoing war

Elina Svitolina will donate all prize money earned from her upcoming tournaments to aid the Ukrainian war effort and has called on the tennis world to do “much more.”

Tennis has largely became a secondary topic since last week as the war between Russia and Ukraine rages on.

Since Russia invaded and initiated a full-scale war, a determined and resilient Ukraine have defiantly battled back to hold their territory.

United behind President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has been pictured on the warzone helping his citizens, amongst those who have taken arms are former heavyweight World champion boxer Wladimir Klitschko and former tennis player Sergiy Stakhovsky has also enlisted.

Meanwhile young tennis player Dayana Yastremska and her sister are now safe in France after spending nights in an underground car park. As is Lyudmyla Kichenok, who had to flee from Kyiv.

Speaking to Eurosport, Elina Svitolina said: “Until the very last moment we did not believe that this war would actually start and then everything just happened at night. Everyone is terrified, everyone is heartbroken.

“My family is there. Lots of my friends who didn’t leave the country are there. They are fighting for their life, some of them are fighting for our country. It takes a lot of courage and it’s unbelievable that some people actually took weapons in their hands and went to fight.

“The most painful thing I would say is that I feel completely useless because I want to help them. I want to do something for them.”

She also revealed Ukrainian players are keeping in contact via a social media group chat, saying “we have a group chat with Ukrainian tennis players, and everyone is safe. Everyone is good.

“There was also Lyudmyla Kichenok, who had the same situation. She was in Kyiv. She had a terrible, terrible trip to try to leave Kyiv because Kyiv is in such a worse state right now.

“Luckily everything went well. I’m very happy that they are safe right now. So now we are really praying for the family of all Ukrainian girls from tennis and the rest of the Ukrainian people.

“I still think that we could do much better because I think the tennis community should do better. We’ve seen many events that happened in the past, different kinds of events where people, the tennis community, came together and we helped the world to know the stories.

“We can do much more. And I think the tennis community can really help us to understand what’s happening and really help Ukrainian people, Ukrainian families who are struggling right now and who are losing their soldiers, they’re innocent people who are just dying to defend their country.”

She also wrote an emotional open letter which can be read below:

? Free >> Receive our legendary newsletter

Join >> Tennishead CLUB, the world’s only virtual tennis club

? Social >>Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & YouTube

? Order >> World’s best tennis magazine

? Shop >> Lowest price tennis gear from our trusted retail partner

Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.