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China Open 2019: Kiki Bertens eliminates Elina Svitolina in straight sets

2019 China Open - Day 3
2019 China Open - Day 3
Rudy Martinez
ANALYST
Modified 04 Oct 2019
News

Elina Svitolina saw her tournament come to a close at the China Open Friday as Kiki Bertens overcame a sloppy start before taking the match 7-6(6), 6-2 on the Lotus Court in Beijing.

This was the fourth meeting between the two, with Svitolina leading the head-to-head record 2-1. After putting in a lot of effort to defeat Sofia Kenin on Wednesday night, the 25-year-old needed to bring her best to defeat the surging World No. 8.

Double faults were a regular feature at the start of the match for both and as Bertens got into her second service game, the issue nearly got out of control. But the 27-year-old managed to hold and then turn things around by attacking Svitolina's serve, creating break point chances. The Dutchwoman ultimately put away a short ball for a 3-1 lead.

Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina

A hold widened the gap between the two and forced the World No. 3 to chat with coach Andrew Bettles. The Brit gave motivation to the 25-year-old and told her to get aggressive on the returns, which became the cornerstone of her comeback.

Svitolina held in the sixth game and followed that with a break and a hold to level the score at four-all. But Bertens then made it 5-4, forcing Svitolina to serve to stay in the set.

The Ukrainian answered with a hold to continue the set. But with a chance for a 6-5 lead, after Bertens committed back-to-back double faults, Svitolina failed to keep the ball in play long enough.

She overcame the mistakes on serve to force the tiebreak, but a string of errors gave Bertens the set.

It was a 68-minute fight with Bertens scoring 20 winners but also committing six double faults. Svitolina on her part wasn't proactive enough to put her opponent on the backfoot.

2019 China Open - Day 3
2019 China Open - Day 3
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The two opened the second set with strong holds of serve, giving up just a point each. But the change came quickly when Bertens broke Svitolina in the third game and then consolidated to make it 3-1.

Instead of recording double faults the Dutch star was now getting the aces to flow, hitting them right on the T that led her to comfortable service games.

Svitolina soon got broken again to fall behind 1-5. The 25-year-old worked the net to survive a game but the eighth seed served out the match easily. She ended it on a rally-ending lob to the open court, beating the third seed in 1 hour and 44 minutes.

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Published 04 Oct 2019, 15:08 IST
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