MELBOURNE, Australia – No.5 seed Elina Svitolina moved through to the third round of the Australian Open with a commanding 6-2, 7-6(6) win over Lauren Davis, which took one hour 34 minutes to achieve.
The WTA World No.5 came into the match posting a string 4-0 winning record against the American, who had only once before taken a set against the 25-year-old.
And Svitolina again proved too strong, winning four games in succession to claim the opening set before outlasting her rival to seal the second and a meeting with Garbiñe Muguruza in the last 32.
“It was very tough. It’s always tough to play against Lauren. She always gives you one extra ball. You have to move your feet well to adjust to her flat shots. I was moving well today and now we can all go to bed!” she said after a match that finished at around 00:45 local time.
Although the first four games were shared, it was notable that Svitolina struck aces at two key moments, establishing an ability to win cheap points that would be one of the differences between her and the WTA World No.62.
Indeed, by the end of the first set, she had a tally of 13 winners to eight unforced errors, which was contrasted to 12 winners and 14 mistakes from her opponent.
Over the course of the set, Svitolina struck five aces, showing a capability to dig herself out of trouble when she was placed under pressure by Davis, who was seeking her sixth appearance in the last 32 in Melbourne. This was best emphasized as she secured the set in such a manner, having staved off a couple of break points in a long game.
Davis was able to steady herself impressively, stopping the bleeding by holding in the first game of the second, which started in a rather uneventful manner.
After six successive holds, Svitolina was finally able to make an inroad but saw three break points squandered and then dropped serve herself to fall 5-3 behind, having barely been put under pressure previously.
Asked to serve for the set, Davis was unable to close it out while Svitolina failed a similar test after getting her nose in front once more.
It was the higher ranked player who got the better of the tiebreak after falling 2-1 behind, even getting a slice of luck when a mishit volley dropped just over the net before spinning back onto her own side.
But while Davis battled gamely until the last, saving one match point, Svitolina was able to secure progress to the last 32 for the 13th time in her last 14 majors.