TENNIS: Rising star Svitolina discusses her on court success

Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina has been on a hot streak over the last two seasons.

Svitolina, 23, posted the highest winning percentage of .791 on the 2017 WTA Tour, while winning five tour championships in Toronto, Rome, Istanbul, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Taipei City, Taiwan.

She has carried the momentum into 2018 with two tour wins already in Brisbane, Australia and Dubai.

On Wednesday, the world’s No. 4-ranked player took time out of her hectic schedule to attend a youth tennis clinic with local high school and middle school players at Bush Tennis Center.

Svitolina made a stop in the Tall City en route from this week’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California to next week’s Miami Open in Key Biscayne, Florida.

“I’m almost home,” quipped Svitolina, a native of Odessa, Ukraine.

The 5-foot-9 Svitolina sat down with the Reporter-Telegram Wednesday to discuss her burgeoning career, her pursuit of an elusive Grand Slam title and she offered guidance to young tennis players.

MRT: You’ve been on a roll with seven wins in the last two seasons, what’s going well for you right now on the tennis court?

Svitolina: I’ve been working really hard with my new team (coaching consultant Thierry Ascione and hitting partner Andrew Bettles), which I changed a year and a half ago. I wanted to have a new view on my game. I just wanted to have a change. I think that’s what brought me success and this push. They’ve changed little things in my game, which has added extra confidence. Yes, I’m really happy with the way it’s working out and the way I’m moving forward.

MRT: Last year you had a 15-match winning streak, were you superstitious at all during the winning streak?

Svitolina: Actually no. I didn’t really notice it because all the tournaments you’re playing, it’s very different. You have to focus on each match and you don’t really think about it. Of course, it’s very nice to win lots of matches and to win the tournaments. I try to really take one match at a time.

MRT: What do you think will be the key for you to finally win a Grand Slam?

Svitolina: It’s the process. I have to work really hard to achieve this. It takes time. I’m a top five player now and I’m more consistent. Consistency is what will bring me more confidence to be playing well in Grand Slams. Hopefully, I will take it one step further and try to not rush things so much because in the Grand Slams, there’s lots of pressure and lots of things crossing your mind. Yes, it’s very tricky, but I have to really stay focused.

MRT: What’s been your favorite moment of your career so far?

Svitolina: There has been lots of them -- winning in Toronto and in Dubai last year, and then defending this year at Dubai this year as well. Entering the top 10 for the first time, it was a big deal. It was the first time (an Ukrainian woman made the top 10). Achieving No. 3 in the world also, it was the best in Ukrainian history. It’s something nice each time. I have lots of good memories from the (2016 Summer) Olympics as well, beating Serena (Williams). I have lots of them. We are training every day for these kind of moments. It’s amazing.

MRT: You’ve said your serve is your favorite shot on the WTA website. What’s your advice to a young player that wants to have a good serve?

Svitolina: The serve is the one shot that you can control the most. I definitely practice it a lot. I’m getting better each day. It’s always a process because you can never say ‘My serve is good enough’ because each day it can be different and you have to adjust your serve a little bit, it also depends on the conditions. It’s very tricky, but at the same time, I like that I have full control over it and I think practicing every day and trying to make it better and better, that’s what helps me.

MRT: What’s your advice to these kids here who have aspirations of going far in tennis?

Svitolina: The most important is to be patient because tennis is that kind of sport where you have to work really hard. The results are not guaranteed so that’s why you always have to work really hard and wait for your moment. It’s going to come. There’s lots of tournaments almost every week so you’re going to have this chance and that’s when you have to be ready. Give 100 percent each day.

WTA TOUR STAR ELINA SVITOLINA TO HOST CLINIC AND RECEPTION TO BENEFIT BUSH TENNIS CENTER ACE OUTREACH PROGRAM

MIDLAND, TEXAS-MARCH 6, 2018- WTA Tour world #4, Elina Svitolina from Odessa, Ukraine
will host a tennis clinic and reception at the Bush Tennis Center located at 5700 Briarwood
Avenue Midland, Texas 79707. The exact date of her appearance will be determined by her
success in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California which will be held March 8th- 18th.
Elina Svitolina’s career highlights include winning the Italian Open, the Canadian Open, the
Dubai Tennis Championships and reaching the quarter-finals of the French Open. She has
career victories over Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Caroline Wozniacki and Simona Halep.
Elina defeated Venus Williams last night in Madison Square Garden to win $250,000 and the
TieBreakTens New York City title. Svitolina will play her 1st round match in Indian Wells,
California later this week before heading to Midland. For updates and additional information on
Elina Svitolina’s appearance in Midland please visit www.bushtenniscenter.org.
“It is a great honor to have Elina visit Bush Tennis Center and to work with young tennis players
from West Texas,” said Tim Stallard, Executive Director. “We greatly appreciate her donating
her time and talent to benefit our ACE Outreach Program.”
The Bush ACE Outreach Program was designed to Advise-Counsel-Encourage K-6

th graders
through the sport of tennis. In the last year, the ACE Outreach Program powered by Pioneer
Natural Resources has provided free tennis clinics, lessons and educational programs to more
than 6,700 children. Thanks to the support of Pioneer Natural Resources, Apache Corporation,
the Beal Foundation and Kent Kwik, the ACE Outreach Program plans to expand its programs to
serve over 12,000 children this year.

303 W. Wall Street, Suite 200, Midland, Texas 79701
(432)683-3381 | www.VisitMidland.com

THE BUSH TENNIS CENTER is a legacy project built through private donations honoring
President George H. Bush, President George W. Bush and the Bush Family. The mission of the
Bush Tennis Center is to provide everyone the opportunity to experience the game of tennis,
regardless of physical, financial or geographical barriers. Through BTC outreach programs,
children throughout the Permian Basin have had the opportunity to learn the sport of tennis.
Upon its completion, the Bush Tennis Center will be the second largest tennis center in the
world with an estimated annual economic impact of over $43 million per year to the Permian
Basin economy. For more information please visit www.bushtenniscenter.org.

BUSH TENNIS CENTER TO HOST ITA REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS & ‘BEST OF THE WEST’ CONCERT FEATURING PAT GREEN

PRESS RELEASEFor Immediate Release

For more information, or to schedule an interview, contact: Tim Stallard, PROLINK Live tim@prolinklive.net, (512) 576-4796

or, contact: Lyndsey White, Marketing & Communication Specialist for VisitMidland, Lyndsey@visitmidland.com, (432) 686-3567

BUSH TENNIS CENTER TO HOST ITA REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS & ‘BEST OF THE WEST’ CONCERT FEATURING PAT GREEN

MIDLAND, TEXAS – SEPTEMBER 6, 2017-The Bush Tennis Center will host the ITA Southern Regional Collegiate Championships presented by Oracle September 28th-31st followed by the Pioneer Natural Resources ‘Best of the West” Festival and Concert presented by Kent Kwik on October 1st,  2017.   The Bush Tennis Center is located at 5700 Briarwood Avenue Midland, Texas 79707. 

The ITA Southern Regional Championship will bring 250 tennis players from colleges and universities throughout the Southwest to Midland. The event is co-hosted by UTPB and the Bush Tennis Center.  The Pioneer Natural Resources ‘Best of the West’ Festival & Concert presented by Kent Kwik will feature several family friendly events including a fun run & 5k, children’s tennis carnival and chili-cook off followed by an 8pm performance by the legendary Pat Green.   The events will benefit the ACE Outreach Program and help support scholarships to Texas Tech through the Midland chapter of the Texas Tech Alumni Association.  The Bush ACE Outreach Program was designed to Advise-Counsel-Encourage K-6th graders through the sport of tennis. This year the ACE Outreach Program powered by Pioneer Natural Resources has provided free tennis clinics, lessons and educational programs to more than 6,700.  Thanks to the support of Pioneer Natural Resources, Kent Kwik and KICKS 99.1 the ACE Outreach Program will expand to serve over 12,000 children this year.

“I’m looking forward to returning to Midland to support the Bush Outreach and local Texas Tech scholarship programs,” said Pat Green.  It’s great to do an event that will help children throughout West Texas.”  Pat Green’s accomplishments include three Grammy nominations, over 2 million albums sold and a sold-out concert at the Houston Astrodome.  After releasing six albums in eight years and touring with Nashville super stars Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban.  He decided to take a three-year break.  However, he back with his new independent album “Home” that is shooting up the Texas Music Chart and his #1 hit “Texas Girls.”

“This is going to be an amazing week of tennis and music at the Bush Tennis Center,” said Tim Stallard, Executive Director.  “We are so greatful for the support of  Oracle, Pioneer and Kent Kwik and thrilled that Pat Green is sharing his time and talent with us.”

A ITA Southern Regional Championships is free to public.  A limited number of tickets for the concert featuring Pat Green will be available to the public beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday September 11th  by visiting www.bushtenniscenter.org or by calling (800) 514-3849. Tickets are $25.00 in advance or $30.00 the day of the show.  VIP Reserved Tables of Four are available for $375.00 and include beverage service throughout the concert.

303 W. Wall Street, Suite 200, Midland, Texas 79701 (432)683-3381 | www.VisitMidland.com

  

THE BUSH TENNIS CENTER is a legacy gift to West Texas honoring President George H. Bush, President George W. Bush and the Bush Family. The mission of the Bush Tennis Center is to provide everyone the opportunity to experience the game of tennis, regardless of physical, financial or geographical barriers. Through BTC outreach programs more than 26,000 children throughout the Permian Basin have had the opportunity to learn the sport of tennis. This year the ACE Outreach Program (Advise-Counsel- Encourage) will visit more than 30 schools and provide free tennis and educational programs to more than 12,000 children. Upon its completion, the Bush Tennis Center will be the second largest tennis center in the world with an estimated annual economic impact of over $43 million per year to the Permian Basin economy. For more information please visit www.bushtenniscenter.org.

The mission of VISITMIDLAND is to encourage economic growth by developing, promoting, enhancing and supporting Midland as a vibrant visitor destination. The above information has been provided by PROLINK Live and the Bush Tennis Center and distributed by VisitMidland. This event is projected to bring in $188,396 in estimated direct visitor spending to the Midland economy. For information on where to eat, play, shop, and stay in Midland, visit www.visitmidland.com.

 

ANNOUNCING BUSH TENNIS CENTER’S “EAGLES & ACES” CHALLENGE TO BENEFIT FIRST RESPONDERS & ACE OUTREACH PROGRAM

KYLE PARK & THOM SHEPHERD TO PERFORM FREE CONCERT FOR FIRST RESPONDERS

WHO: Bush Tennis Center, Valor Farm, Apache Corporation, Mayor Jerry Morales, Jim Henry, and Doug Scharbauer will be in attendance.

WHAT: Bush Tennis Center will be announcing the Eagles & Aces Challenge and Kyle Park & Thom Shepherd Concert benefiting West Texas first responders and ACE Outreach Program. WHEN: Monday, August 28, 11:00 a.m.

WHERE: Midland Fire Department Central Fire Station, 1500 W. Wall Street, Midland, Texas.

WHY: The goal of the three-day, community event is to show support for West Texas first responders and ACE Outreach Program through golf and tennis tournaments and wrap up with a concert featuring notable Texas Country musicians.

THE BUSH TENNIS CENTER is a legacy gift to West Texas honoring President George H. Bush, President George W. Bush and the Bush Family. The mission of the Bush Tennis Center is to provide everyone the opportunity to experience the game of tennis, regardless of physical, financial or geographical barriers. Through BTC outreach programs more than 26,000 children throughout the Permian Basin have had the opportunity to learn the sport of tennis. This year the ACE Outreach Program (Advise-CounselEncourage) will visit more than 30 schools and provide free tennis and educational programs to more than 12,000 children. Upon its completion, the Bush Tennis Center will be the second largest tennis center in the world with an estimated annual economic impact of over $43 million per year to the Permian Basin economy. For more information please visit www.bushtenniscenter.org.

The mission of VISITMIDLAND is to encourage economic growth by developing, promoting, enhancing and supporting Midland as a vibrant visitor destination. The above information has been provided by PROLINK Live and the Bush Tennis Center and distributed by VisitMidland. The Eagles & Aces Challenge is projected to bring in $188,396 in estimated direct visitor spending to the Midland economy. For information on where to eat, play, shop, and stay in Midland, visit www.visitmidland.com.

WORLD’S GREATEST DOUBLES TEAM, FRENCH OPEN CHAMPION AND WIMBLEDON SEMI-FINALIST RETURN TO MIDLAND TO SUPPORT BUSH TENNIS CENTER AND ACE OUTREACH PROGRAMS

The world’s greatest doubles team of Mike and Bob Bryan, along with Wimbledon semi-finalist Sam Querrey and 2017 French Open Doubles Champion Ryan Harrison will headline the Henry Resources West Texas Tennis Classic starting at 7:00 pm on September 27th at the Bush Tennis Center located at 5700 Briarwood Avenue Midland, Texas 79707.  

The event will feature singles between Ryan Harrison and Sam Querrey followed by doubles featuring the Bryan brothers against Harrison and Querrey. Immediately following the tennis, the Bryan Brothers’ Band will entertain fans and sponsors at the Grand Slam Jam Post-Party concert featuring special guest Jim Bogios of the Counting Crows.  The event will benefit the Bush Tennis Center and the Ace Outreach Programs.

“The Bush Tennis Center is thrilled to host this event for the third straight year and honored to bring members of the U.S. Davis Cup & Olympic teams to our city,” said Tim Stallard, Executive Director of the Bush Tennis Center. “West Texas has a vibrant and growing tennis community and bringing role models of this caliber to our city will have a tremendous impact on the future growth of the sport.” “I know that Sam and Ryan are looking forward to joining us in Midland,” said Bob Bryan, “This will be our third trip to Midland to participate in this event to support such a great program and facility that helps so many children learn the sport of tennis.”

The Bryan brothers have won 113 ATP Tour titles including 16 Grand Slam titles at the US Open, Wimbledon, the French Open, and the Australian Open. In 2012, the Bryans won the gold medal at the Summer Olympics in London. The Bryan brothers have been ranked #1 in the World for a record 11 years.

Sam Querrey has had an amazing 2017 season reaching the semi-finals of Wimbledon where he upset World #1 Andy Murray. Sam also won the 2017 Acapulco Open where he defeated three of the top 15 players in the world including Rafael Nadal in the finals. In 2016, Sam defeated World #1 Novak Djokavic and reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon.

Ryan Harrison is having an outstanding 2017 campaign capturing the ATP Memphis singles title and last month won his first grand slam double title at the French Open. Ryan and his doubles partner Michael Venus also reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon last week before falling to the number one ranked team in a five set thriller!

Tickets are $35 for General Admission and $55 for Reserved Seating. A limited number of courtside VIP Tables of four are available for $375. Tickets will go on sale July 22nd at 9 a.m. CST online at www.bushtenniscenter.org or by calling (800) 514-3849.

For information on courtside VIP Tables or sponsorship opportunities, contact Tim Stallard at tim@prolinklive.net or (512) 576-4796. Hotel reservations can be made through Double Tree by Hilton Midland Plaza, 117 West Wall Street, Midland, Texas 79701, (432) 683-6131.

THE BUSH TENNIS CENTER is a legacy gift to West Texas honoring President George H. Bush, President George W. Bush and the Bush Family. The mission of the Bush Tennis Center is to provide everyone the opportunity to experience the game of tennis, regardless of physical, financial or geographical barriers. Through BTC outreach programs more than 26,000 children throughout the Permian Basin have had the opportunity to learn the sport of tennis. This year the ACE Outreach Program (Advise-CounselEncourage) will visit more than 30 schools and provide free tennis and educational programs to more than 12,000 children. Upon its completion, the Bush Tennis Center will be the 2nd largest tennis center in the world with an estimated annual economic impact of over $43 million per year to the Permian Basin economy. For more information please visit www.bushtenniscenter.org.

VisitMidland The mission of VisitMidland is to encourage economic growth by developing, promoting, enhancing and supporting Midland as a vibrant visitor destination. The above information has been provided by PROLINK Live and the Bush Tennis Center and distributed by VisitMidland. This event is projected to bring in $167,372 in estimated economic impact to the Midland economy.

Community Comes Full Circle at Bush Tennis Center

By Raymond Williams, Development Director at Bush Tennis Center

As the only child of two hardworking parents, I spent the majority of my youth at their side, learning and listening from every step they took.  Perhaps not true for all only children, I was the quintessential quiet kid in the corner, completely content with imaginary friends keeping me busy at all times.  While this made for a quiet house for my parents, it was a good idea to get me involved at a young age with others.  Before I knew it, at age seven I was on my first soccer team like so many others were. 

“The Screamin’ Eagles”, coached by lifelong friend to Midland, Craig Hubbard, was my first taste of team sports and what it meant to function as a unit.  While the basic mechanics of the game at age seven were all we were concerned with, the sense of teamwork was instilled in many of us as kids that still resonates today as adults.

We usually practiced at Bowie Elementary, just off of “A” Street in Midland.  Most recognize this as the school just before you reach the duck pond that so many of us remember as the only standing water in Midland.  However, when it came time for team pictures, we were told to go to a place that as an adult, I would become honored to be a part of: Opportunity Park. 

At ages six and seven, none of us knew the importance of the wheelchair accessible equipment and soft ground at Opportunity Park.  The day after we had pictures done for our soccer team, I begged my parents to take me back to “the carpet park”, as I called it.  Delighted that their shy and quiet child wanted to go play with other kids, my parents took me back to Opportunity Park time and time again, and those memories are ingrained in me to this day.  The idea of a place where all kids, whether shy or with special circumstances, could go and enjoy the west Texas sun together in a safe place not only meant the world to my parents, but it means to the world to me 18 years later.

When I was hired as the Development Director for Bush Tennis Center in February of 2016, I had no idea that Opportunity Park, now known as Chris Davidson Opportunity Park, was being relocated to my new place of employment.  On my second day at BTC, I met with Steve Davidson, who is one of the most passionate individuals I have ever come across, and it not only meant the world to me to thank him for creating the park that I have so many fond memories of in the past, but as well for having me be a part of the park that will allow so many families in the future to create even more memories. 

Community is more than a bridge between neighborhoods and sidewalks, it is a bond that goes beyond gender, race, age and circumstance: it defies time.  In my case, 18 years separated my relationship to a truly amazing dream: a place for all, regardless of physical, financial, or geographical barriers.