Svitolina sets Charleston return after childbirth

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Former world No. 3 Elina Svitolina will make her return to the WTA Tour at next month’s Charleston Open in South Carolina after accepting a wild card, organizers of the clay-court tournament said.

Ukraine’s Svitolina, who last played a year ago in Miami, is set to return to action following the birth of her daughter Skai with husband and fellow tennis player Gael Monfils.

The 28-year-old has also partnered with the tournament and WTA Charities to host a special “Tennis Plays for Peace” pro-am event in April, benefiting war-torn Ukraine and the Elina Svitolina Foundation.

“Increasing awareness and raising funds for Ukraine is very important to us as a tournament and to our players,” tournament director Bob Moran said in a statement. “We are passionate about working with Elina, who has a deep and personal understanding of the needs in her home country right now, to further exemplify the mission of Tennis Plays for Peace and stand united with Ukraine.”

The tournament hosted a pro-am in 2022 and raised $100,000 for relief efforts in Ukraine.

Svitolina, who has 16 WTA titles and is a two-time Grand Slam semifinalist, will be joined in the Charleston field by five former champions, including 2022 champ Belinda Bencic, and Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka.

The Charleston Open will take place from April 1-9.

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