2017 French Open: Elina Svitolina gains berth in third round

By The Sports Xchange   |   June 1, 2017 at 3:54 PM
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Elina Svitolina has been enjoying a splendid season and it is continuing during the early stages of the French Open.

The fifth-seeded Svitolina lost the opening set Thursday before recovering to post a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory over Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova to advance to the third round at Roland Garros in Paris.

Svitolina delivered 32 winners and dominated the final two sets after finding herself at a disadvantage.

"I didn't play her before, but I know her for many years," Svitolina said afterward. "I watched couple of matches of hers. I knew what to expect from her.

"I think today she was playing really very good. I was just waiting for my chance ... because I didn't play that bad in the first set, but I think she was playing really amazing from the start."

The 22-year-old Ukrainian has won four tournaments this season and her torrid play has made her one of favorites to win at Roland Garros. Her third-round opponent will be Poland's Magda Linette, who produced a 6-0, 7-5 upset of 29th-seeded Ana Konjuh of Croatia.

"We know each other pretty good. We see each other almost each week on each tournament," Svitolina said of Linette. "I know what to expect. I'm going to prepare. I have a day off tomorrow, so I'm going to just work on some things -- what I have to do, and just play my game.

"I will just take it easy and be ready for next match, next opponent, and there's going to be a tough one, of course, but I'm going to be there and be ready for it."

Third-seeded Simona Halep of Romania was a straight-set winner, producing a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Germany's Tatjana Maria.

Ninth-seeded Pole Agnieszka Radwanska received a surprise test from Belgium qualifier Alison Van Uytvanck before notching a 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3 victory.

Radwanska has been plagued by a right foot injury and has won consecutive matches for the first time since a January tournament in Sydney.

"I have been struggling with my health for a couple of weeks," Radwanska said afterward. "I only had a week of practice, so I am just very happy to be in the third round."

Unseeded Frenchwoman Alize Cornet easily swept past 20th-seed Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-1.

It marked the first time Cornet defeated Strycova since 2014. Strycova pointed the blame at herself for the defeat.

"I had so many break points, and I didn't do it. And I had so many chances and I didn't do it," Strycova said. "If you have so many chances and you are not able to do it and you are kind of, like, thinking about it and it's getting worse and worse ... at the end, it's just looking like that you're playing bad."

Also advancing were 14th-seeded Russian Elena Vesnina, 17th-seeded Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia, 26th-seeded Russian Daria Kasatkina and 28th-seeded Caroline Garcia of France.

Vesnina posted a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory over American Varvara Lepchenko, Sevastova dispatched Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 6-3, 6-0, Kasatkina recorded a 7-6 (1), 6-4 win over Czech Republic qualifier Marketa Vondrousova and Garcia defeated countrywoman Chloe Paquet 7-5, 6-4.

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