Why Elina Svitolina is wearing a black ribbon at Wimbledon 2024

A picture of Elina Svitolina celebrating defeating Xinyu Wang of China at Wimbledon 2024
Elina Svitolina burst into tears in Monday’s on-court interview (Picture: Getty)

Ukraine’s tennis star Elina Svitolina is wearing a black ribbon at Wimbledon 2024 as Russia’s invasion of her country goes on, almost two-and-a-half years after it first started back in February 2022.

The 29-year-old conjured up a 6-2 6-1 win over China’s Xinyu Wang in the last 16 on Monday and faces 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina on Wednesday.

Svitolina is hoping to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals for the second year in a row after she dumped out world No.1 Iga Swiatek at last year’s Championships.

It would be her third appearance in the last four at the All England Club should she manage to battle past Rybakina – but it won’t be easy against the fourth-seed.

Following Svitolina’s win over Wang and ahead of her quarter-final showdown with Rybakina, fans want to know exactly why the tennis star wears a black ribbon.

What does Elina Svitolina’s black ribbon mean?

A picture of Elina Svitolina
Wimbledon star Elina Svitolina still has family in Ukraine (Picture: Getty)

Svitolina wore a black ribbon on her white top on Monday to pay respect to those who lost their life after Russia’s strike on a children’s hospital in Kyiv this week.

Traditionally, Wimbledon players must wear all-white outfits but an exception was made for Svitolina given the latest brutal assault on Ukraine.

‘It’s been approved by Wimbledon,’ Svitolina said about the black ribbon. ‘I feel it would be understandable after such a big attack on my country.’

Elina Svitolina gives emotional speech after deadly attack on Ohmatdyt Children’s Hospital

Speaking in her on-court interview on Monday, Svitolina fought back tears and said: ‘It was a good performance from my side today. It’s a very difficult day today for Ukrainian people.’

After a long pause, she added: ‘It was not easy to focus on the match. Since the morning, it’s very difficult to read the news, just to go on the court… I’m happy I could play today and get a win.’

Speaking in her post-match press conference, Svitolina said: ‘Yeah, it’s incredibly sad day today for all Ukrainians.

‘It was really difficult for me to really be here in a way and do anything. I just wanted to be in my room, just be there with my emotions, with everything. You know, when you have these sad days where you don’t want to do anything, it was this kind of day for me.

A picture of Elina Svitolina celebrating winning against China's Wang Xinyu
Elina Svitolina next faces Elena Rybakina at Wimbledon 2024 (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s difficult really to explain, I guess, because of course for us Ukrainians, it’s very close to our heart and very sensitive topic, very sensitive emotions that we feel every single day.

‘But today was one of the days where it was even more difficult because the missile landed on the hospital, the kids’ hospital.

‘Straightaway you see the images and everything that happened there. So many kids lost their lives. Yeah, it’s extremely tough day today.

‘I [still] have my family there [in Ukraine]. My dad just was there for a couple of weeks to see my grandmother. I have my uncle. His family is there.

‘I have many friends there. Pretty much everyone is based in Ukraine. I have contact pretty much every single day. I’ve been talking, yeah, on a daily basis with Sergiy Stakhovsky as well. I guess you guys know him. Also a well-known name in tennis. He’s helping a lot with my foundation.’

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