WATCH: Elina Svitolina sits down with Tennis Channel after her 2023 Roland Garros first round win.


Just two days after winning her first WTA title as a mom, Elina Svitolina was already celebrating another milestone victory at Roland Garros.

Svitolina scored the biggest win of her comeback from maternity leave on Monday, as she toppled No. 26 seed Martina Trevisan 6-2, 6-2 on Court Simonne Mathieu. Having arrived in Paris via train after winning in Strasbourg, the Ukrainian was riding her victory high into the second round.

“It was really special, a very different feeling. The first [title] as a mom, you’re always going to remember it,” she told Tennis Channel’s Jon Wertheim and Steve Weissman. “And especially there, where I won in 2020 as well. I was wearing a mask for the ceremony, and it was really different this time. I had amazing support there.

“I felt the people’s energy. I felt that support and I wanted to pass it to Ukraine and to my people, so they can feel a little bit of boost of energy. It was a great week for me.”

The former world No. 3 always has Ukraine on her mind and in heart—and after reclaiming the WTA 250 crown and taking home $34,228 in prize money, she made it a priority to give back to her country:

Q: You did not buy a purse or a car with your prize money, as I understand it. Can you tell everyone what you did with your prize money?

ELINA SVITOLINA: Yeah, I donated my whole prize money from Strasbourg to the kids of Ukraine. It’s very important right now to continue helping Ukraine and Ukrainian people. And of course kids, they are our future.

Right now for sure it’s very tough to see kids being scared, not knowing what is in front of them. So that’s why I wanted to bring this small light to their lives, because right now it’s extremely tough for them...

The war is still ongoing and people need help. People need the support. We’re really thankful for all the countries that have received refugees and are helping on a constant basis. I want to invite people to continue donating a couple of euros or donating their time. This is also very precious.

Just continue supporting us, please, and hopefully soon the war will be done and we will see a little bit of light in Ukraine.

After giving birth to daughter Skaï in October, Svitolina began her comeback to tennis in Charleston and has been slowly building up momentum. She reached her first semifinal at a WTA 125K event in Saint-Malo—falling to eventual champion Sloane Stephens—before claiming victory in Strasbourg.

She will face Australia’s Storm Hunter in the second round at Roland Garros.