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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday September 27, 2023

Elina Svitolina is passionate about Ukraine, and does anything she can to help those in need. She’s always done that, but these days her mission is more pressing in light of Russia’s brutal invasion of her country, which began in February of 2022.

That is why it is even more important - and impressive - that Svitolina’s foundation continues in its mission of giving young players from Ukraine the chance to develop their games and their character.

This year at the Elina Svitolina Tennis Camp, a training camp that traditionally invites gifted athletes who are included in the ranking of the Ukrainian Tennis Federation, 20 players under or at the age of 12 spent ten days from September 17 to 27 training in Leszno, Poland.

Now five years into its existence and organized and funded by Svitolina’s foundation, the camp had to be held abroad in Poland due to the war.

(Find out more about the Elina Svitolina Foundation and donate here).

In Leszno, the young athletes were surprised to receive a visit from Svitolina herself this week.

The highest-ranked player in Ukraine's history is currently resting and recovering a foot injury after making deep runs in two Grand Slams in 2023. Svitolina, who gave birth to her first daughter, Skai Monfils, last October, has pushed her ranking all the way up to No.24 in the world this year.

The Odesa native took time interacting with players and watching them train on court.

"I am extremely happy I had the chance to see them. I was impressed by their dedication," Svitolina said. "I want to thank everyone who's been donating to my foundation, giving Ukrainian tennis players the opportunity to continue playing tennis and pursue their dreams for the future."