It took a “shooting pain” in her back that ruined Elina Svitolina’s goal of going all the way in the 2024 Australian Open.
The former world No.3 blamed her latest injury that forced her to withdraw in her fourth-round match against unseeded Czech Linda Noskova. Svitolina trailed 3-0 when she needed to retire.
“This one I think I never had that before, the shooting pain like this,” the Ukrainian world No.23 said. “I felt like someone shot me in the back.”
“I had some injuries to my back before where it was just tiredness the next day of the match, but this one was really out of nowhere,” she added.
Svitolina felt she wasted a “good off-season” where she trained hard in her bid to challenge for the first Grand Slam major of the year.
The 29-year-old Odessa native experienced sharp pain in her back, forcing her to take a medical timeout after the opening game against Noskova. When Svitolina felt that she could not serve, she was forced to quit the match.
For her part, Noskova felt sorry for Svitolina and other seeded players for falling early in the women’s competition. But the world No.50 admitted “anything can happen” in any tournament.