Fourth seeded Elina Svitolina will face the gritty Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the third round of the 2020 Italian Open on Friday, September 18. The match begins at around 7 pm local time (6 pm BST). Get the live streaming options of this Elina Svitolina v Svetlana Kuznetsova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Elina Svitolina v Svetlana Kuznetsova Head to Head
There have been four previous matches between Svitolina and Kuznetsova with the Ukrainian leading 3-1 right now. Kuznetsova’s only win over Svitolina came at the 2016 Moscow Open, while Svitolina has won at the 2014 Australian Open, 2018 Cincinnati Open and 2019 Wuhan Open.
Svitolina Returns with Straight-Set Win
It was Svitolina’s first WTA match since she won the title at the Monterrey Open in the first week of March and while she did make it through in straight sets, the Ukrainian would also be pleased with the workout she got. Svitolina was on court for an hour and 45, and made it through 6-3, 7-6 against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to march into round three.
The first set started off with some cagey tennis in the first five games before a now-confident Svitolina broke Pavlyuchenkova in the sixth game to pocket a 4-2 lead. Svitolina warded off a break-point in the seventh game and then came back from 0-30 down in the ninth to win the set.
Neither player found it easy to hold serve in the second set. Pavlyuchenkova led 2-0 and 4-2 but both times was broken back and Svitolina got the service advantage of her own as she broke her Russian opponent to go 5-4 up. Serving for the match, Svitolina lost serve again which soon pushed the second set into the tie-breaker which she then won 7-4.
A gritty battle alright but one which Svitolina would have enjoyed winning as she prepares for the more difficult tests in the rest of the tournament and with the French Open to follow.
Kuznetsova Wins from Set Down, Again!
Two matches into the tournament, Russia’s Kuznetsova has again proved why she can never be written off. Playing against the in-form Anett Kontaveit, Kuznetsova was down a set for the second time in a row but retaliated to win the next two to clinch a place in the third round.
The Russian world number 38, who has been to the Italian Open finals on two previous occasions, was broken in the eighth game of the first set, and while she responded back with a break, Kuznetsova was broken again to lose the opening set.
The second set was grittier in nature with not much separating the two and it took until the ninth game when Kuznetsova finally broke to serve for the match. Unable to do so on the first attempt, she got another chance at 6-5 to seal off the set and bring in a decider.
Kuznetsova took the momentum of this set into the last as she raced off to two breaks while taking a 4-1 lead and while Kontaveit tried to wriggle herself back into the match, the Russian showed her experience in closing out the encounter.
Earlier Kuznetsova had defeated Bernarda Pera in a similar fashion, winning 3-6, 7-6, 6-3 in round one.
Svitolina v Kuznetsova Prediction & Tip
Never count out Kuznetova would always be our motto, especially against a player who hasn’t played too many matches in a while. We could be looking at another three-setter as a result of that.
Tip: Three sets in the match: 11/8 (bet365)