Italian Quick Out The Gates
Last year’s US Open finalist, Roberta Vinci, was set to play, the Ukrainian, Elina Svitolina for a spot in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. This match embarked the pair’s third meeting; each player had won one of their two previous match-ups. The match looked quick into the Italian veteran’s favor, as she broke in the first game.
Vinci followed up her opening break by consolidating with a hold of serve. The 33-year-old wasted no time to take a 3-0 lead, as she added pressure to her opponent by approaching the net often. She was able to finish points with well-placed volleys, causing Svitolina to run around all parts of the court. The world number 10 stayed consistent, but still aggressive, to extend her lead to 4-0.
Despite lacking to control the center of the court, last week’s WTA title winner in Malaysia, Svitolina, faught off a hand full of break points in the ninth game to deny her Italian opponent to serve for the set. But the 21-year-old failed to convert opportunities for her first break of serve and was left in a four-game deficit, requiring a massive comeback for the first set. Down 5-1, the world number 14 was broken at love as yet another forehand error from Svitolina sealed the first set in Vinci’s favor.
Momentum Stays With Vinci
Roberta Vinci continued her dominance on serve into the second set by holding for the fourth straight time. But the Ukrainian showed signs of fight with more aggressive tactics, maneuvering the ninth seed around the court. Yet another hold from the Italian followed when Vinci closed out the tenth game to love with a clean down the line winner. The veteran’s consistency and craftiness then vaulted her to take the next two games, being only two games away from the fourth round.
The 17th seed trailed 6-1, 4-1 and the pressure was essentially on her to lower her error count and take advantage of any opportunity thrown her way. Svitolina took only her third game of the match with a game of aggressive shot placement. But the less experienced youngster had lacked any answers for the Taranto, Italy native’s serve. As Vinci held to love to extend her lead, time was running out for her younger opponent.
A fourth hold from the Ukrainian reversed the pressure onto the woman who upset Serena Williams at last year’s US Open. Serving up 6-1, 5-3, Roberta Vinci was down 0-40 on her serve and a slight chance at a comeback from her opponent sparked. Svitolina’s hopes were squandered as the world number 10 captured five straight points en route to close out the game, set, and match 6-1, 6-3. Vinci held serve eight out of eight times, as well. This year’s St. Petersburg champion only needed an hour to close out her 12-year younger opponent and deservingly took her second win out of three career meetings against Elina Svitolina.
What Is Next?
Roberta Vinci will go on to face Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova tomorrow, last up on Stadium 1. Their fourth round match will be the fifth meeting between the pair as the Slovak leads the series 3-1. As for Elina Svitolina, she will have time to rest and practice for next week’s Miami Open.