Tennis beauty dated England cricket ace after meeting in London gym

Tennis star Elina Svitolina remarkably used to date England and Surrey fast bowler Reece Topley following a chance meeting between the sporting duo in a gym in London.

The Ukrainian, who reached a career-high ranking of World No. 3 when she was on top of her game in 2017, claimed she met Topley in a London gym and the two experienced a relationship over a number of years. Both Svitolina and Topley visited each other as they starred in their respective sports.

Svitolina was jokingly considered a top cricketer in her native country, and was even asked to show off her new skills at an event in 2017. In fact, she even thought Topley originally played curling as she did not understand the rules to cricket.

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“We met in a gym in London,” Svitolina, who is missing Wimbledon this year as she takes a break from the sport amid Ukraine's ongoing war with Russia, said back in 2017. “I was preparing to play in Montreal last year.

“I spotted him straight away – it wasn’t difficult, he is two metres tall and very strong – when I was working out with my fitness coach. I was very focused on my training and then I saw him in the restaurant afterwards.

“I am trying to learn more because it is his sport and when he has bad days I need to be aware and not ask stupid questions. Before Reece I knew nothing about it.

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“I even thought it was a different sport, with a brush, and then my friend told me it was not this one. No one in the Ukraine knew about it before I dated him, probably now it will start.

“When I had the media day in Brisbane I played cricket and everyone in media in Ukraine and newspapers, I was like the first Ukrainian cricketer.”

Svitolina travelled to see Topley – son of former England international Don and nephew of first-class cricketer Peter – play in several matches as she attempted to understand his sport and grow closer to the English star. He even attended her Wimbledon first round clash against future SW19 champion and World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in July 2017.

“For me, it’s very different watching him,” Svitolina added. “I am a very nervous watcher.

“I was at a match a couple of months ago and people are just drinking beer and enjoying it and I was very nervous. He comes when he can but as you know I respect his sport.

“For me it is very important that he is 100% doing his thing and then I’m like second, because we are still very young and we still need to make our career 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 now, tennis for me is number one and for him cricket so, we are very clear with this.”

The two split in 2018 after 18 months together. Svitolina went onto marry men’s tennis star Gael Monfils, who thrills fans around the world with his audacious shots, and the duo recently announced they are expecting their first child together, a girl.


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