U24 Welcomes Svitolina As New Ambassador

Elina Svitolina

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2022 (by Michael Dickens)

U24, the main venue for collecting charitable donations in support of Ukraine, has named Elina Svitolina as its new ambassador.

“Every time I won on the court, I was happy to bring victory to my country. I have always been a proud Ukrainian. Today, when my country is facing a horrific enemy, I will not stand aside,” Svitolina said in a statement on her social media platforms this week.

“I will do everything in my power to help my country win its most important battle. This time – outside the tennis court.”

Svitolina said she’s honored to become part of the initiative established by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine that “gives people hope, helps them survive and fight back. Ukrainian doctors and paramedics, who risk their lives rushing into the war zones to save lives, need medical supplies and modern equipment. They have my utmost respect and support for this daily sacrifice, so this is exactly where I am going to focus my activity.

“Together with my colleague and fellow Ukrainian, Andriy Shevchenko, who joined the platform earlier, we will do our best to unite the world community around supporting the Medical Aid direction.”

At the recent French Open in Paris, the French Tennis Federation brought together Svitolina as well as Shevchenko and Sergiy Stakhovsky and other business and economic leaders to raise awareness and encourage fundraising for Svitolina’s foundation and in support of its efforts in Ukraine.

Rafael Nadal: On the importance of overcoming adversity

Graduation day for 33 students at the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar in Mallorca took place on Wednesday and included a visit from 14-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal, who presided over the ceremony.

The 36-year-old World No. 4 motivated his students while praising their families and teachers for their support.

“I know that the fashion now is immediacy and that patience is not a greatly valued virtue,” Nadal said during his speech to the graduating class. “When we want something, all we have to do is pick up our mobiles and make a purchase, read an article or get the information we need.

“Today I would like to remind you that the greatest goals in life are not achieved from one day to the next. They are achieved by fighting, struggling and learning when you fall down. I’m convinced that all of you will be great professionals and good people, which is the most important thing.

“But I can also tell you, through experience, that along the way you will have unexpected moments and disappointments that will make you question everything. In those moments, you must rely on your family, your loved ones and the people you trust, who will remind you what your dreams and goals were so that you can dream of them again.”

The students of the Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar attended the academy’s school, the American International School of Mallorca, and are the sixth graduating class.

Simona Halep to graduates: ‘Dream big even if it seems scary!’

Simona Halep, who is coached by Patrick Mouratoglou, was a featured speaker at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy graduation ceremony in the French Riviera town of Biot, France Wednesday. The ceremony also included French Open quarterfinalist Holger Rune and a taped message by Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Halep said: “I wish each and every one of you the best of luck in your next chapter in life. Always remember to give it your all, trust yourself, and dream big even if it seems scary!”


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A post shared by Simona Halep (@simonahalep)

Judy Murray: On why Emma Raducanu could use some female influence

Judy Murray, mother of Andy and Jamie and herself a coach, in a first-person essay about Emma Raducanu penned for The Telegraph believes the reigning US Open champion’s body needs time to mature.

“If you strip away the fact that she was catapulted into this amazing success following her US Open triumph last September, she is no different to any other young player in the sense that her body needs time to fill out, become more robust and resilient,” Murray writes. “It’s a process that simply doesn’t happen overnight, especially when the physical demands on her body are at an all-time high.”

What they’re writing

Tumaini Carayol, tennis correspondent of The Guardian, on Iga Swiatek beating the odds to become the next superstar of tennis.

What they’re tweeting

According to Serbian tennis writer Sasa Ozmo, Novak Djokovic will not play any tune-up events prior to Wimbledon.

By the numbers

With the post-French Open rankings released by both the ATP and WTA on Monday, here are some of the biggest movers and shakers among the Top 100:


Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain, up 33 places from 130 to 97

Holger Rune of Denmark, up 12 places to No. 28

Brandon Nakashima of the United States, up 11 places from 75 to 64

Mackie McDonald of the United States, up 9 places from 60 to 51

Lorenzo Musetti of Italy, up 9 places from 66 to 57


Martina Trevisan of Italy, up 32 places from 59 to 27

Zheng Qinwen of China, up 20 places from 74 to 54

Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania, up 19 places from 63 to 44

Sloane Stephens of the United States, up 17 places from 64 to 47

Diane Parry of France, up 15 places from 97 to 82.

“Quotable …”

“I never even dreamed about achieving the things that I [have] achieved. Honestly, no, I never considered myself that good.

“I am honestly [going to] keep going step by step, practice by practice, and always with a clear goal to improve something. That’s my mindset all during my tennis career. Go on court and every practice with the goal to improve something g in my game. I don’t understand the sport another way.

“With that philosophy probably and with a lot of help from a great team next to me and family and friends, everybody who supports me and helps me during all my tennis career have been important for me. All the coaches, all the people that have been next to me in some moments. I learned from every situation, and not only in the tennis world. I learned a lot in terms of life. So, all experiences help me to grow always.”

Rafael Nadal, during his post-match news conference at the French Open Sunday in Paris.