Elina Svitolina began Group B round-robin play at the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai with a victory. She defeated Andrea Petkovic in two tightly contested sets, 7-6(4), 6-3 to put her 1-0.
Svitolina Delivers When It Mattered Most
The match didn’t start off the best for the Ukrainian as she was broken to open the match. Petkovic needed three tries to break and converted on the final one. She consolidated the break for a 2-0 lead as the Ukrainian looked to be in early trouble in the opening set. Svitolina nearly fell behind a doubles break in the fifth game but saved a crucial break point at 30-40 to keep herself within reach.
Saving the break point turned out to be key as she leveled the match at three apiece on her second break opportunity. Just when it looked like both women had it figured out on serve, Svitolina was broken in the 11th game after leading 40-0. With Petkovic serving out for the set, the German faltered and was broken at 15.
In the tiebreak, first blood went to the Ukrainian, racing out to a 3-1 lead. After Petkovic leveled the tiebreak at 3-3, Svitolina picked up her game as she won four of the final five points to take the tiebreak 7-4. The set lasted over an hour, finishing in an hour and three minutes.
Petkovic Crumbles In The End
Svitolina failed to bring any momentum from her first set win into the second; she was broken at 30 and was once again behind early. After this first game, a series of long games began. In the next three games, there were a combined 37 points played alone. Petkovic saved two break points to put her up 2-0 while Svitolina saved three break points to get herself on the board. The fourth game saw the Ukrainian strike back from 40-0 down to break back for 2-all.
After that though, normalcy returned for a bit as the games shortened. Svitolina followed up her break with a business-like hold at 15 and nearly broke again in the sixth game, but the German held for 3-3. The Ukrainian began to ratchet up the pressure. After a hold for 4-3, she had a break opportunity for 5-3 at 30-40. Despite being unable to convert that, she converted her second break point to give her a shot to serve out for the match. That she did with the first hold at love to take the match 7-6(4), 6-3. Oddly enough, the second set lasted shorter than the first despite the influx of ridiculously long games in the set, The second set finished in 58 minutes, five minutes shorter than the first. Wednesday sees Petkovic back in action against Carla Suarez Navarro while the Ukrainian gets the day off.