Svitolina battles on in US Open but Bouchard crashes out
Elina Svitolina is still in contention to finish the US Open as World No.1, but the 22-year-old Ukrainian had to come from behind to beat the Czech Republic's Katerina Siniakova yesterday before securing her place in the second round.
Svitolina, who began the day as one of seven women still in with a chance of topping the rankings in 12 days' time, won 6-0 6-7 6-3.
24 hours after beginning their match, Svitolina and Siniakova returned to complete it after the previous day had ended in frustration. Svitolina had won the first set and was leading 2-1 in a tie-break at the end of the second set when rain sent the players scurrying off the court.
Siniakova has recorded three victories over top 10 players this year and won the second title of her career in Bastad last month. She had won only one match in her two previous appearances at Flushing Meadows, but threatened an upset when she broke Svitolina in the opening game of the third set.
The World No.42 likes to go for her shots but, although she hits plenty of winners, she also makes more than her fair share of errors. Svitolina, a more consistent ball-striker, made regular inroads into Siniakova's service games and won six of the last seven games to take the match.
"I was a little unlucky to stop yesterday because I was playing good and feeling good," Svitolina said. "It was tough to keep the focus. She's a good player. She knows how to come back into the game. I was kind of expecting this from her."
Svitolina thought she had played "solid tennis" to win the third set. "I was just trying to fight for every ball," she said. "There is no other way you can win the match if you are not mentally strong. You just fight until the end and wait for the opportunity. That's what I did and it worked."
In the second round Svitolina will take on Russia's Evgeniya Rodina, who added to Eugenie Bouchard's woes at this tournament when she beat the Canadian 7-6 6-1.
Kristina Mladenovic, the No.14 seed, was another player who returned to complete her match following the bad weather. The Frenchwoman had lost the first set to Romania's Monica Niculescu and was unable to turn the match around, losing 6-3 6-2.
Independent News Service