Elina Svitolina secured a comfortable victory in her first-round match at Wimbledon. The Ukrainian got through a tough opening set and then blanked her Australian opponent Daria Gavrilova for a 7-5, 6-0 victory on Court 18 at the All England Tennis Club.
This was the first meeting between these two players at a Grand Slam - and ninth overall. The Ukrainian, despite being the favourite on paper, came into the match without having recorded a single victory on grass this season. Losses at Birmingham and Eastbourne had left her short on confidence and she was coming up against a tricky opponent.
Both players started the match by holding their respective service games. This continued for the first six games before Svitolina found an opening on the Gavrilova serve thanks to a double fault from the Australian. She took full advantage to capture the break and consolidated with a strong hold to move 5-3 up in the opening set.
Gavrilova though was in no mood to throw in the towel. Helped by some errors off the Svitolina racquet, she managed to earn back the break and even proceedings at 5-5.
Svitolina hit back strongly and broke again, helped by another double fault from Gavrilova. Serving for the first set, the 24-year-old raced off to a 40-15 lead and a forced error from the Australian handed the eighth seed the set in 44 minutes.
Svitolina took some confidence from her opening set display and raced off to a comfortable lead in the second. Before Gavrilova knew what had happened, she was down 5-0 with the Ukrainian serving for the match. Errors continued to flow from the Australian's racquet, making life so much simpler for Svitolina, who struck back to back winners to close out the match in an hour and six minutes.
While it wasn’t a flawless performance by any means for the eighth seed, she will take heart from the fact that she made it past a tough opponent. Svitolina will face Margarita Gasparyan in the second round.Published 01 Jul 2019, 17:39 IST