World number six and Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina faces American unseeded player Ann Li in the second round of the 2021 French Open on Thursday, June 3. Get the live streaming options of this Elina Svitolina v Ann Li match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Elina Svitolina v Ann Li Head to Head
There have been no previous meetings between Svitolina and Li before this French Open second round clash.
Svitolina Needs Time against Babel
On the one side was the world number six Svitolina, on the other a 17-year-old on Grand Slam debut despite being ranked outside the top 1000 on the WTA charts.
You would expect it to be bit of a mismatch now, wouldn’t you? And for a while it did look like that too as Svitolina raced off to a 5-1 lead in the first set before clinching it 6-2.
Before she could lay an easy claim to the second set too, however, Svitolina was stunned by the previously struggling Babel, who broke the Ukrainian in the second game itself. In what turned out to be an exemplary display of courage, Babel then saved two break-points in the third game and four apiece in the fifth and seventh game to take a 5-2 lead.
Unfortunately for her, Svitolina bounced back from there to break her easily over the next two games and win five games in a row to seal the second round berth.
Svitolina would know she would have to do a lot better than the 28 unforced errors she dished out in the encounter – opponents with more experience will not give her too many second opportunities.
Li Makes Sterling Comeback
Li had made a solid start to the season on the hard court surfaces of Melbourne and Monterrey but had been out of action for over two months.
What that meant was the unbeaten run at the Grampians Trophy before it got cancelled, another semifinal in Monterrey and a third round appearance at the Australian Open might not have counted for a lot as she took to court for her first round match at Roland-Garros on Tuesday.
After all, Li hadn’t played any matches on clay this year and incidentally, was on her clay court main draw debut at this level – all her previous matches on dirt had come on the ITF circuit.
Which is why a 6-0, 6-1 demolition of Margarita Gasparyan would have come as a huge surprise, and while it cannot be termed as an upset – Ann Li was 1/2 to win the match – it sure didn’t seem like she would drop just one game en route the victory.
Which is also why she will be uber-confident of causing bit of a panic in the opposition ranks despite being ranked 75th in the world.
Svitolina v Li Prediction and Tip
On paper, Svitolina might seem like a heavy favourite but given how their respective opening round matches went we have to point this out – this is a potential upset in the making. Svitolina would have to have do a lot better to try and stay afloat we believe.