Just over a year since her last match, Elina Svitolina is to return to the WTA Tour.
The 28-year-old Ukrainian, whose last match was in Miami a year ago, will play her first match since giving birth to her first child, daughter Skai, with her husband Gael Monfils in October 2022, when she plays in the Credit One Charleston Open in April, having been granted a wildcard by the tournament.
Monfils returned to action in Indian Wells after an extended injury break this week and Svitoliina will join a star-studded field, led by Aryna Sabalenka and Jessica Pegula for the WTA 500 event which will be played from April 1-9 in Charleston, South Carolina.
Tournament director Bob Moran said Svitolina’s presence will be important for the tournament as it looks to add its support to Ukraine’s fight against the invasion by Russia of its country.
“Increasing awareness and raising funds for Ukraine is very important to us as a tournament and to our players,” Moran said in an emailed press release.
“We are passionate about working with Elina, who has a deep and personal understanding of the needs in her home country right now, to further exemplify the mission of Tennis Plays for Peace and stand united with Ukraine.”
Charleston to host Tennis Plays for Peace event
As part of the arrangement, the tournament will host a special “Tennis Plays for Peace” Pro-Am event, the proceeds of which will benefit Ukraine and the Elina Svitolina Foundation.
The Tennis Plays for Peace initiative seeks “to bring the tennis community and fans together to support the humanitarian relief efforts for the war in Ukraine.”
Twelve months ago, Charleston hosted a Pro-Am which raised $100,000 in donations for relief efforts in Ukraine.
Svitolina will play in Charleston for the first time since 2014, joining seven of the world’s top 15 players, five former champions and four Grand Slam champions.