“Compared to other players, my path in tennis has developed consistently. I always moved from one step to another, trying not to miss a moment of improvement in the game. I played 10,000, 25,000, and slowly started playing in Grand Slam tournaments. Then I played at the most important stages and tried to break through to the Top 10, but I put too much pressure on myself. Whatever your number is in the ranking, you always want more. When I was the world’s 30th racket, I thought, “If I’m in the Top 10, I’ll be happier.” But then it turned out that when I was in the Top 10, I cried after the defeats. It never ends, you never have enough. I learned to enjoy every match, even the hardest battles.
When I went on a professional tour, there were many doubts. You are expected to show rapid growth, and you compare yourself with other players, your peers, but who are higher in the ranking. This negative voice appears in your head, but you must put your doubts aside and work hard every day.
I think the hardest thing for me was that my parents were involved in my tennis. Wherever I played, my parents always followed me. They wanted me to win every game. At some point, it’s important for every parent to step aside. My parents realized that five years ago. When they stopped riding with me, I didn’t count on them anymore. If I lost a match, I blamed only myself, and through this process I managed to find my own way.
Sometimes I still remember my childhood. It might have been better if my parents hadn’t pushed me so hard. However, these difficult moments have made me the person I am today. I’ve been on the road since my early childhood. It was hard, but I was thinking about what I wanted to achieve, and it motivated me. Every couple of years I updated my goals, so I didn’t feel like a constant circle of travel and defeat because I lost almost every week. The fact that I played in front of the audience and won tournaments gave me motivation.
Tennis gave me everything I have today. Tennis taught me discipline, introduced me to great people and showed me incredible places. Tennis gave me my life,” said Svitolina.
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