Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic 2019: Elina Svitolina marks tournament debut with a straight-sets victory
Elina Svitolina had a very solid performance that helped her mark a memorable debut in the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic on Wednesday. The Ukrainian converted well on breakpoints and scored 20 winners against Darya Kasatkina in a 6-3, 6-1 result on Stadium Court at San Jose State University.
Both made their debuts in the tournament’s second year with the Russian making her mark before the Ukrainian. Taking out 2018 champion Mihaela Buzarnescu set her up for a fifth meeting with Svitolina.
The World No.7 holds the grip in their series and showed immense tenacity into putting her skills down in San Jose. Her early arrival gave her time on the courts but the competitive energy would stand firmer with the 22-year-old.
The match got started with a great 32-shot rally that saw Svitolina deliver a cross-court winner. Despite losing the opening point on serve, Kasatkina managed to keep the No.1 seed back and hold. She attacked hard on the returns winning her fifth point in a row that led to a break on Svitolina’s first double fault.
A key break back for the 24-year-old snapped her opponent’s eight-point streak but needed a hold to get into gear.
Better movements evened the score with Kasatkina before she went for the break in the seventh.
It was the assist necessary for her to dominate the last two games for the set, ending it in 34 minutes. Despite committing three double faults in the set, her ability to remain aggressive on serve and give Kasatkina a hard time put her back into familiar territory with the second in tow
It was there that the top seed held her opening serve before the Russian got hers locked. The third was the most competitive as they went to deuce with Svitolina saving a number of break points.
She went on to take the game and the next two straight to sit 4-1. The Russian tried to add to her lone game winner but a tough fight against Svitolina ended on deuce with the Ukrainian taking it.
She easily put the match away on serve dropping down a line drive winner to end her very first challenge in Silicon Valley after one hour and five minutes.
“I’m happy to be here and I played quite a solid match for my first match on the hard court,” Svitolina said to Andrew Krasny after the match. “I try to fight for every point and she’s a tricky player, she has a tricky hand and always puts out a fight so I had to fight for every point and in the end, I was more solid today.”
She’ll need more of the success put out on court taking on Maria Sakkari who was last year’s finalist at the tournament.