A strenuous gym session following her second-round defeat at Wimbledon 2016 made Elina Svitolina lucky in love, as the WTA world No.3 met her now-long-time boyfriend Reece Topley, a fellow athlete, albeit in the sport the Ukrainian had known absolutely nothing about.
Focused on her training session in a London gym, preparing for her upcoming tournament in Montreal, Svitolina’s eyes wandered to a tall and strong guy, a British cricket player, they exchanged glances and she later also saw him in the restaurant. That’s how it all started.
The 23-year-old Svitolina appreciates that her boyfriend is engaged in sports, since it’s easier for them to understand each other’s lives.
It’s good when someone is on the same page of sports and has bad times and good times as well, the same as me in tennis. We have so many things in common and it is very interesting that in other sports there are so many things we can speak about. It’s good that everything is very clear and you don’t need to explain a million times.
However, she definitely prefers that he’s not a tennis player, having previously dated one and finding it too overwhelming:
It was like non-stop tennis and that’s not my thing. It was too much for me. It was like my head was exploding.
The 23-year-old Topley, the Hampshire and England fast bowler, and his father Don, introduced Svitolina to the sport she had even thought was played with a brush.
When it comes to where their relationship is heading, right now their careers are top priority, as we can conclude from Svitolina’s quote:
We are still very young and we still need to make our careers and do our best, because now is the time. When we are older, then we can enjoy life and all this, but since we met, tennis for me is number one and cricket for him, so we are very clear with this.
For more info about love lives of women’s tennis stars, visit our page WTA Players and their Love Partners.
I’d like to thank my reader nicknamed bbr1979 for telling me about the article from Independent, where I got more info about this relationship. Photos are from Svitolina’s and Topley’s Instagram accounts.