Fifth seed Elina Svitolina claimed a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Venus Williams in the second round of the US Open on Wednesday. The win marked the third time in four career meetings for the Ukrainian over the American. Svitolina faces either Rebecca Peterson or country woman Dayana Yastremska in the third round.
Svitolina comes through to testy encounter to book third round spot
The highly anticipated clash was just one of nine matches to be completed on the day as rain washed out play on all outer courts, but under the roof at Louis Armstrong Stadium, Svitolina jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead.
The Ukranian fought t0hrough two deuces in the fourth game to claim a 3-1 edge and the lead would grow as Svitolina seized on another break opportunity for a 5-2 advantage. Williams would get one of the breaks back after a lengthy baseline exchange.
A further hold after saving three set points put Svitolina under pressure and she served for the set a second time at 5-4. A double fault made it 30-30, but two points later, the set was over when Williams flew a shot well past the baseline.
The American made the brighter start in the second set, fighting off a break point and then capitalizing on a 15-40 lead to break and go ahead 2-0. She dug out of 0-40 to consolidate the break for a 3-0 advantage.
The set was turned on its head as Svitolina ran off four consecutive games, the last of which was handed to her courtesy of a Williams double fault on break point. It would be five after a hold to love and a quick end was perhaps in sight.
The seven-time major champion wouldn't give up so easily, saving five match points in an enthralling 15 minute game to hold and force the Ukranian to serve out the victory, which Svitolina did after Williams went long on match point.