ROME, Italy - No.4 seed Elina Svitolina kicked off her Interazionali BNL d'Italia title defense with an emphatic 6-1, 6-2 win over Petra Martic, moving her into the third round.
Svitolina won the biggest clay court title of her career last year at the Foro Italico, and hit the ground running after a rainy Tuesday, racing past the resurgent Croat in 61 minutes.
That pair last played at Roland Garros, where the Ukrainian was a game away from defeat before sealing a comeback win in three sets.
Martic, who had long struggled with injuries and had at one point fallen outside the Top 600, nonetheless used that result to move back up the WTA rankings, earning a career high ranking of World No.35 shortly after reaching the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open.
Striking 24 winners to just nine unforced errors, Svitolina proved far too strong. The 23-year-old saved the only two break points she faced in the match and maintained an impressive 79% winning percentage behind her first serve to book her spot in the Round of 16.
Awaiting her there will be either No.14 seed Daria Kasatkina or Miami Open semifinalist Danielle Collins, who outlasted Sorana Cirstea in three sets earlier in the day.
More to come...