Elina Svi­tolina —

Sportstar - - CHESS COLUMN - PAUL FEIN

With seven­time ma­jor win­ner Jus­tine Henin as a spe­cial coach­ing consultant, the 23­year­old Ukrainian hopes to grab a ma­jor her­self. Svi­tolina, who peaked at No. 3 last Septem­ber, has cap­tured 12 Tour ti­tles, but has never ad­vanced past the quar­ters at a ma­jor. This sea­son she de­feated Pliskova and Konta to win Bris­bane; Ker­ber and Kasatk­ina to cap­ture Dubai; and Ker­ber, Kasatk­ina and Halep to take Rome.

The slen­der blonde pos­sesses ef­fec­tive vol­leys to com­ple­ment her solid ground strokes. But in­sid­ers won­der whether a sig­nif­i­cant loss in weight has caused a loss in her shot power this year. With a game sim­i­lar to Halep’s, No. 5­ranked Svi­tolina lacks a knock­out punch, and that will pre­vent her from reach­ing her first ma­jor semi­fi­nal.

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