Elina Svitolina beat Martina Trevisan in her first Grand Slam match in 16 months ©Getty Images

Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina has insisted that "empty words" are not helping people from her war-torn country as she called for more support in the fight against Russia.

Svitolina issued her plea after getting her French Open campaign off to a flying start with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over last year's semi-finalist Martina Trevisan of Italy.

It was the 28-year-old's first appearance at a Grand Slam in 16 months having taken time out following the birth of her first child.

Svitolina stepped away from the sport shortly after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Russian and Belarusian players have been allowed to compete as neutrals on the Women’s Tennis Association, men’s Association of Tennis Professionals and International Tennis Federation Tours since the escalation of the war in February 2022.

Svitolina, who returned to the WTA Tour last month, said she was unhappy with what she was hearing on the tennis circuit about the situation in her country.

"What I found, I don’t know a nicer way to say, but a lot of rubbish is happening around the situation where we have to focus on the main point of what is going on," said Svitolina.

"Ukrainian people need help and need support.

"We are focusing on so many things like empty words, empty things that are not helping the situation, not helping anything.

"We are missing the main point of all of that and talking, talking, talking about nothing."

Svitolina arrived at the French Open after winning her first title since becoming a mother with victory at the Internationaux de Strasbourg.

She is donating all her prize money from Strasbourg to Ukrainian children.

"I want to invite everyone to focus on helping Ukrainians," said Svitolina.

"To help kids, to help women who lost their husbands, because they are at the war and they are fighting for Ukraine.

"The kids, they’re losing their parents, they’re losing parts of their body.

"There is so many things that we can do and help in different ways.

"You can donate a couple of dollars, it might help and save lives.

"Or donate your time.

"We are missing the main point of all of that and talking, talking, talking about nothing."

Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk was booed off the court after she refused to shake hands with Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka following her first-round defeat in Paris.

Kostyuk said "people should be embarrassed" after their reaction to her handshake snub of the world number two who stated that her opponent "didn't deserve to leave the court that way".