July 8, 2019 / 5:29 PM / 2 months ago

Tennis: Boxing fan Svitolina hoping to go the distance

Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - July 8, 2019 Ukraine's Elina Svitolina shakes hands with Croatia's Petra Martic after their fourth round match REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - Ukraine’s eighth seed Elina Svitolina reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals for the first time on Monday and hopes her boxing workouts can help her go the distance.

The 24-year-old was quicker to the punch against Croatia’s Petra Martic, winning 6-4 6-2 to continue her impressive progress in her seventh appearance in the main draw.

She will face unseeded Czech Karolina Muchova on Tuesday with a first Grand Slam semi-final in her sights.

Asked how she is preparing for her matches, Svitolina said boxing was a useful way of letting off steam.

“I think it’s a great workout because sometimes you just need to let go the negative things in your head,” she said.

“Sometimes it’s frustrating matches that you lose. I think it’s a good workout also for your mind.”

Svitolina said she is a big fan of Britain’s former world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.

“Yeah, big fan of his. Unfortunately his last fight wasn’t great,” she said. “In Ukraine there are great fighters. I don’t know why, but from a long time ago I started doing boxing with my brother. Then throughout the years, just continuing it.”

Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond

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