Elina Svitolina calls for psychologists for young tennis players: I had tough moments in my career

Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina recalled her struggles as a player when she was young and didn’t get enough time to spend with her family and loved ones. The 27-year-old is currently campaigning for better mental health facilities for aspiring tennis players around the world.

The former World No.3 talked about the mental challenges she faced due to the pressure of constant expectations. She also said how losing on a consistent basis didn’t help her by any stretch of the imagination.

“I had tough moments in my career (at) a young age. You travel alone, just with your coach. When you are traveling so many weeks every year, it can be a big challenge. You’re losing pretty much every single week, so this is mentally really tough to handle,” Svitolina was quoted as saying.

The Odesa-born Svitolina, who is currently ranked 27, supported the idea of making psychologists available for young tennis players.

“I think it’s the right way. Because traveling from January until November, this can be really tough. The expectations of the media, the parents, the coach. You are working a lot and not as successful as you wish,” she said.

“For sure, something changes in your mental life. You become more downhill, you become more (of) a sad person. You become a bit of a lonely person, you miss your friends, miss your family. You are in a hotel every time, packing every few days to move to the other city,” Svitolina said.

Svitolina, who consults a psychologist, was one of the many speakers on Wednesday, at the Global Sports Week conference in Paris.

“There are lots of things that people don’t see, don’t realize, that are happening to the young players and what they are going through. For me it took a few years to find a good person with who I could share (things),” she added.

Svitolina, recently, pulled out of the upcoming French Open at Roland Garros, saying the AFP that the Russian invasion of her country had been “draining.” Back in the month of March, Svitolina said that she took a break from tennis to address her mental and physical issues. Prior to that, she lost both the Indian Wells Masters and Miami Open in the first round.


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