Veronika Kudermetova capped off a wild day of play at the Abu Dhabi WTA Women's Open play with a 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (4) victory over second seed Elina Svitolina.
The Russian blasted 50 winners, including 11 aces in the two-and-a-half hour nailbiter, defeating Svitolina for the second time in as many meetings after having beaten the Ukrainian two years ago in Moscow.
Aggressive play helps Kudermetova upset Svitolina
Kudermetova had little trouble through her first three service games and she held a break point in the sixth game of the match, but a strong serve by Svitolina erased the opportunity.
After not facing any sort of trouble, Kudermetova faced triple break point and on the third of those, she was able to break and serve out the set leading 6-5 and a game later, a backhand miss by Kudermetova sealed the set for the second seed.
The Russian rebounded in the second set. After an early exchange of breaks, Kudermetova held with an ace to take a 3-2 lead, broke when Svitolina missed with a backhand and held by closing out the game with another ace to extend the advantage to 5-2.
Serving for the set at 5-3, Kudermetova double-faulted on set point, but she got a second chance after an overhead and she converted with a forehand winner to level the match at one set all and she broke to open the third set.
Svitolina was resoulte, saving break points in the sixth game and she broke back after ripping a backhand to even the score at 4-4. Kudermetova broke again to serve for the match at 6-5, but the Ukrainian responded to send the set into a tiebreaker.
The Russian quickly went ahead 3-0 and she closed in on victory with a backhand that forced Svitolina into an error to set up four match points. She converted on her second opportunity as she slammed a final backhand for a winner.