NEW YORK, NY, USA -- No.7 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine moved into the third round of the US Open for the fourth consecutive year after a straightforward 6-2, 6-3 victory over Germany's Tatjana Maria on Wednesday.
"I think I played really good tennis today," Svitolina said, during her post-match press conference. "I was confident in my fitness conditions and I was going out there, went with a clear plan. You know, I think it really helped me a lot. Yeah, it was good performance."
It was a bit of revenge for Svitolina, as Maria had upset the Ukrainian in the first round of Wimbledon earlier this summer, and indeed held a 3-2 lead in their head-to-head record prior to this encounter. But Svitolina controlled this most recent match to take the win in 67 minutes.
"Today going into the match, it was a different story [than Wimbledon]," Svitolina explained. "I was playing good tennis. What I had to do was just the matter of if I could execute it. And, I mean, today was really solid. I think it showed that I worked and I did good [to] analyze that loss at Wimbledon."
Svitolina broke the hard-serving Maria five times during the match, and the 7th seed was more effective on her own first service, winning 79 percent of those points, whereas Maria only claimed 52 percent of those points. Svitolina had 24 winners in total, outpacing Maria's 18.
Svitolina will meet either Wang Qiang of China or Irina-Camelia Begu of Romania in the third round. "Nowadays, you know how everyone is playing," said Svitolina. "I know it's gonna be another tough match. I'm going to have to be ready for it, have to be ready physically."
The first three games of the match went against serve before Svitolina used every corner of the court to hold for 3-1, knocking off a backhand passing shot and a winning volley to maneuver to game point, and closing out the game with a putaway following a strong serve.
Svitolina came through a difficult game by blasting a forehand winner on game point to lead 4-2, then took complete command of the opening frame on the German’s serve in the following game, as an error-prone Maria dropped serve when she blasted a backhand wide on break point.
The World No.7 immediately took advantage of her double-break lead, crushing a forehand winner to claim triple set point, and then taking the set on her second opportunity after a wily defensive backhand lob led to a wide error from Maria.
Maria quickly fell behind in the second set, as Svitolina was returning wonderfully in the opening game, and the German dropped serve to give Svitolina the 1-0 lead. That turned out to be the opportunity Svitolina needed, as she survived multiple tight service games from 0-30 down, steadfastly maintaining the break lead up to 5-3.
The Ukrainian quickly zipped to double match point as Maria served to stay in the match, but the German saved both, the first with an ace, and reached game point. But Svitolina used more effective forehands to garner another match point later in the game, and the third time happened to be the charm, after Maria netted a forehand to conclude the second-round tilt.