ISTANBUL, Turkey - No.1 seed Elina Svitolina found herself having to mount an unexpected comeback against Russian qualifier Viktoria Kamenskaya after dropping the second set 0-6, but she recovered emphatically in the third to move on 6-4, 0-6, 6-1 at the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup.
Svitolina edged through in a topsy turvy opening set – she found herself down a break early in the set, and after turning around the score she was broken serving for the set and needed 10 set points total before closing it out.
But it was a much different story in the second, where Svitolina won just five points during all of her service games and allowed Kamenskaya to reel off six unanswered games in a row.
“Ever since I arrived here I haven’t been feeling so good - I had some health issues, and I started to feel dizzy during the match,” Svitolina explained her second-set letdown after the match.
“It was up and down, but in the end I was very happy that I was able to come up with the win. And in the third set I think I finished very strongly.”
Svitolina regrouped and emphatically rattled off four games in a row, breaking the Russian qualifier three times to wrap up the match after just under two hours.
While Svitolina cites illness and adjusting to the new conditions as major factors in her opening round struggle, she also mentioned the psychological toll of playing straight after a Fed Cup tie.
“This match was very tough emotionally for me,” Svitolina said. She recorded one victory and one loss in Ukraine’s Fed cup defeat against Germany over the weekend.
“It’s very tough after Fed Cup, it takes a lot out of you. And especially me, I’m very emotional during Fed Cup. I think it was just a bit too much for me.”
Svitolina will take on Romania’s Alexandra Cadantu in the next round at the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Cup.