Underdogs Ukraine’s spirit will see them “die on the field” before they yield to favourites England in Saturday’s Euro 2020 quarter-final in Rome, said Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina at Wimbledon on Wednesday.
Ukraine squeezed into the last eight beating Sweden 2-1 in time added on of extra-time on Tuesday.
Their achievement, under coach and former star player Andriy Shevchenko, was even more remarkable given they lost two of their group games.
“We have nothing to lose, that’s for sure,” said Svitolina after reaching the second round of Wimbledon on Wednesday, beating Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
“We did our best already to beat Sweden, and we took our chances.
“So we just have to go there and show our best. And we’re gonna do it, because we are Team Ukraine.
“You know, we never give up. We just go there and we fight until the end, you know.
“We die on the field and we do our best.”
Should Svitolina win her second round match, the third seed could conceivably play on Saturday at the time the Euro clash is taking place (1900GMT).
“Well, I would prefer, you know, to play on Centre Court and then Ukraine beat England, that’s the ideal scenario,” said the 26-year-old.
Svitolina at least still has an interest in Euro 2020 unlike her fiancee Gael Monfils whose country France went out in a shock defeat to Switzerland on Monday.
The entertaining Frenchman has the consolation he too is into the second round the 13th seed having beaten Australian Christopher O’Connell in a weather-affected five-set match which began on Monday.