Elina Svitolina defeated No.81 Anastasia Potapova 6-2, 6-1 to open her campaign at the Abierto GNP Seguros. Seeded No.1 in Monterrey and the 2020 champion here, the Ukrainian will face Bulgarian qualifier Viktoriya Tomova in the second round.
"It's a special one because of what we are going through right now in Ukraine, it's terrifying," Svitolina told reporters after the match. "It's been six days and all the Ukrainian tennis players and Ukrainians who are there, we have been really terrified with what is happening."
Words of thanks from @ElinaSvitolina 🇺🇦 💜 pic.twitter.com/YcnKu6ff95— wta (@WTA) March 2, 2022
Svitolina also announced she would be donating her prize money from this week's tournament to the Ukrainian army.
"For me, playing the match here, I'm not playing only for myself. I'm playing for my country, I'm playing for the help of the Ukrainian army and people in need. Every victory that I'm gonna get is going to be very special."
"I think it's my mission to unite our tennis community to stand with Ukraine because what we're going through is a horrible thing for all Ukrainians."
💙💛🙏🏼 #Ukraine #Україна #HelpUkraine #IStandWithUkraine pic.twitter.com/IiWE1v5Uv1— Elina Monfils (@ElinaSvitolina) February 27, 2022
Svitolina powered through the 64-minute win with a particularly strong serving day. The former World No.3 serve at 68.0% and won 73.5% of her first-serve points, over 55.0% of her second serve points, and saved all three break points she faced.
Earlier in the day, Croatia's Petra Martic rallied from a set down and saved a match point to defeat No.3 seed and Australian Open semifinalist Madison Keys, 4-6, 7-6(3), 6-3. The victory is Martic's first Top 50 win on a hard-court since 2020 Dubai. Martic will face Guadalajara finalist Marie Bouzkova in the Round of 16, after the Czech held off Sara Errani 4-6, 6-2, 6-4.
China's Wang Xinyu also tallied a notable upset, defeating No.8 seed Ann Li 6-2, 6-1 in just 57 minutes.
Other results from Day 2 in Monterrey: No.6 seed Nuria Parrizas Diaz defeated Misaki Doi 6-2, 6-1, Wang Qiang edged Hungaria qualifier Dalma Galfi 6-7, 6-1, 6-4, and 19-year-old Zheng Qinwen defeated Italian lucky loser Lucia Bronzetti, 6-2, 6-3. The rising Chinese teenager will face No.2 seed Leylah Fernandez next.