Ukrainian star Elina Svitolina to take break from tennis due to 'unbearable pain'

Combination of back injury and invasion of Ukraine prompts Svitolina to temporarily step away from tennis.

Elina Svitolina has announced she is taking a break from tennis to nurse a back injury, as well as the 'unbearable pain' of the invasion of Ukraine.

The world number 20 has been a long way short of her best for a while with her losing her place in the top ten recently.

Her latest defeat came at the hands of world number 144 Harriet Dart at Indian Wells, and she has not reached the final of a tournament since Chicago back in August 2021.

Much of that has been down to injury, though, and undoubedly the Russian invasion of Ukraine has played a part too.

And, after she initially vowed to fight through the pain in honour of her compatriots, she has now decided to take a break from tennis.

"It's been an extremely difficult couple of months for me not only mentally, but physically," she said on Instagram.

"For quite a long time, I've been struggling with my back; the pain didn't let me prepare for the tournaments at my best.

"Meanwhile, observing with unbearable pain in my heart what is happening in my homeland of Ukraine and with how much bravery and courage our Ukrainian people are defending our country, this gave me a huge push to continue and fight on court.

"Now, my body can't handle it anymore and I need to rest, therefore I'm sad to announce that I will be missing the Fed Cup and a few of my favourite tournaments in Europe.

"But, I'm sure I will see you around soon, thank you for all your support in this challenging period."

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