Elina Svitolina has always been known as a young player who could become a top ten player. Having some of the most consistent groundstrokes in tennis, the Ukrainian has been on the cusp of making a big breakthrough for a couple of seasons. However, a new coaching structure and a win over Serena Williams at last year’s Olympics have led to improved confidence when faced with tough situations. With her biggest title to date in dubai, Svitolina has all of the trappings associated with a future champion.

Hiring Justine Henin changed her career

One of the best competitors of all time was a small Belgian woman named Justine Henin.

Although much smaller than the rest of her competitors, Henin managed to reach the top rankings and won seven major titles. In an effort to gain more of an edge, Svitolina decided to seek out the Belgian and they began their partnership during the clay court season last year. Svitolina kept her current coach but added the expertise of Henin to help her learn the mentality of a champion. While her results last season were not spectacular, the Ukrainian has started the 2017 season well. She has also shown noticeable improvements in her game in the areas of her forehand and serve. Coincidentally, these two shots were also the ones that gave Henin trouble during the beginning of her career.

Winning in Dubai validated her status as a top player

The Dubai Tennis Championships is a WTA premiere tournament and as such, attracts some of the most competitive fields outside of the majors. Svitolina played a very controlled tournament and made her way into the finals by defeating world number one, Angelique Kerber. In the final, she played former world number 1, Caroline Wozniacki and completely dominated proceedings from the first point.

In an aggressive performance, Svitolina made the speedy Wozniacki look slow. In a 6-4, 6-2 victory, Svitolina ensured that come Monday, she would enter into the top 10 for the first time. At just 22, Svitolina has plenty of time to improve her game and make a push further into the top five.