MADRID, Spain - France's Pauline Parmentier scored the second Top 10 victory of her career at the Mutua Madrid Open on Sunday, defeating No.6 seed Elina Svitolina, 6-4, 7-6(6).
The victory over the World No.6 is the 33-year-old's first main draw win at the Premier Mandatory event in just her third-ever appearance, as both of her Top 10 wins have now come on clay.
Last spring, the Frenchwoman split sets with reigining Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals of the Istanbul Cup before the Dane retired due to injury, giving Parmentier passage into the semifinals at a tournament she eventually won.
Somewhat similarly, Svitolina arrived in the Spanish capital under an injury cloud, as she was candid with the press about her recent struggles with a knee injury at Saturday's All-Access Hour.
Having been out of action for over a month since the Miami Open, and though she competed for the one hour, 38-minute duration of the match with her right knee bandaged, the Ukrainian battled throughout before succumbing.
Trailing 5-1 in the opening set, she got one of the breaks back en route to winning three games in a row before the World No.69 finally put an end to the set on her first set point.
In the second, after trailing by an early break, Svitolina broke to love in the sixth game, and remained ahead by confidently holding serve at each time of asking.
It was a crucial stretch in the ensuing tiebreak that eventually decided the match, as Parmentier won five straight points from a 3-1 deficit to put herself in pole position for her first Top 10 victory in a completed match.
Though the No.6 seed seed saved three consecutive set points, her comeback could not be completed as Parmentier settled down to win a long rally at 6-6, before watching Svitolina's final service return miss its mark on her fourth match point.
Parmentier advances to face Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva in the second round, who defeated Irina-Camelia Begu in straight sets on Saturday.