World number five Elina Svitolina will be up against one of the many Russians still left in the draw in the form of 33rd-ranked Ekaterina Alexandrova in third round of the 2021 WTA Abu Dhabi on Sunday, January 10, with the match likely to begin at around 2:30 pm local time (8:30 am Eastern Time). Get the live streaming options of this Elina Svitolina v Ekaterina Alexandrova match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Elina Svitolina v Ekaterina Alexandrova Head to Head
There has been one previous encounter between these two players. Svitolina won that one at the 2020 French Open, clinching it 6-4, 7-5 in the third round.
Svitolina Makes Zvonareva Mincemeat
The world number five Svitolina had showed relentless form in her opener against Jessica Pegula, exhibiting no signs of rust and to prove that was no flash in the pan, she then crushed Vera Zvonareva in the second round in straight sets well.
Svitolina won 6-4, 6-1 in an hour and nine minutes, with a whopping five breaks of serve for the Ukrainian.
She started off with a break of serve in the very first game and while she was broken right back by Zvonareva, Svitolina then took control without taking the advantage till 4-4 in the opening set. A crucial break in the ninth game was followed by Svitolina holding to love to pouch the set.
The second came more easily. Once Zvonareva had held serve in the second game, Svitolina went on a three-break rampage and carved out a quick set to seal her third round berth.
Alexandrova Stretched by Watson
If Svitolina wasted no time winning, Alexandrova’s route to the third round was a lot more circuitous. Following on from an open round win against Zarina Diyas, Alexandrova needed three sets and two and a half hours to push past Heather Watson in her second round encounter.
The Russian won 7-5, 6-7, 6-3 which saw a relatively low, eight breaks of serve in the encounter.
A flurry of breaks in the first set were followed by just two in the second which took it to a tie-breaker. While Alexandrova grabbed a 3-0 and a 4-1 lead, Watson slowly clawed back, and staved off a match-point too to level the proceedings.
That set, however, looked to have taken a lot out of Watson and at the most crucial time, in the eighth game, Alexandrova broke the Brit and then served out for the match.
Things are about to get only tougher against the world number five.
Svitolina v Alexandrova Prediction and Tip
Svitolina starts a strong favourite for this one, bet365 offering 4/9 for her win. We think this could get one better in that there would be a straight-set win for the Ukrainian.
Tip: Svitolina to win in straight sets: 1/1 (bet365)