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Monterrey Open 2020: Arantxa Rus vs Elina Svitolina, match preview and prediction

  • Can Rus put up a fight against a resurgent Svitolina in Monterrey?
ANALYST
Preview
Modified 07 Mar 2020, 21:56 IST

Arantxa Rus has never reached a final of a hardcourt event
Arantxa Rus has never reached a final of a hardcourt event

The semifinal lineup of the 2020 Monterrey Open will see the top two seeds face the challenge of two rather unheralded opponents.

Top seed Elina Svitolina will take on the 29-year-old Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus in the first of the semifinals. This will be the first time that the two women square off against each other in almost a decade.

A seasoned campaigner, Rus has made a name for herself as a skilled claycourt player. That said, she has also scored big upsets of top stars on faster surfaces, and will be looking to do the same against Svitolina.

Elina Svitolona was struggling for match wins before coming into Monterrey
Elina Svitolona was struggling for match wins before coming into Monterrey

Svitolina on her part was struggling immensely to find any sort of form this year. But a few good wins this week, including against talented players like the in-form Leylah Fernandez, will give her some much-needed confidence.

She will need plenty of that going into this difficult match-up against a very resilient opponent in the form of Rus. The Dutchwoman's form on serve does not bode well for Svitolina, who will need to work extra hard to score points.

The Ukranian lost to Rus in their only previous meeting, but that was way back in 2011. Things have changed dramatically since. But despite all that Svitolina has amassed over the years, this one has the makings of a close encounter, owing to the similar styles of play.

It will be a tough test for Rus, who has looked great in her last couple of matches
It will be a tough test for Rus, who has looked great in her last couple of matches

Expect a very physical match where both women look to indulge in long rallies, looking to wear the other out. Match fitness will likely come into play the longer the match goes on.

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Rus has been a little lucky in terms of not having had to play too many top seeds, and with a retirement that saw her cruise through the opening round. But that does not take anything away from the superb tennis she has displayed all week.

Rus' wins over the solid-looking Lauren Davis and Rebecca Peterson will give her the confidence heading into the semifinal. Getting past a top-10 opponent like Svitolina remains a daunting task, but Rus is definitely in with a shot at the upset.

Prediction: Rus to win in three sets.

Published 07 Mar 2020, 21:56 IST
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