Ukrainian No. 1 Elina Svitolina will continue her bid for her first Grand Slam in Melbourne as she faces the Chinese star Shuai Zhang in the third round of the Australian Open.
Watch & bet on Elina Svitolina v Shuai Zhang live with bet365 here* on Saturday, January 19. The Svitolina v Zhang match timings will be announced soon.
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Svitolina Continues to Impress
Since arriving at the Melbourne Park, Svitolina has barely faced any difficulties in reaching the third round. She has won both of her opening matches in straight sets and is well on track to go the distance here.
After defeating the Swiss qualifier Viktorija Golubic in the first round, she breezed past the Slovakian player Viktoria Kuzmova 6-4, 6-1, in an hour and eight minutes.
It was business for the Ukrainian as usual, who doled out eight aces and 24 winners. However, what was particularly impressive here was the fact that she was highly efficient throughout the match. She saved all three break points and kept her unforced errors to a minimum at just eight; Kuzmova, on her part, had committed 26 unforced errors.
Svitolina hasn’t had the best of the start to the year, seeing that she lost early in the Brisbane International. However, she hasn’t let that defeat be a factor here. Last season, she won the WTA Finals in addition to the WTA Dubai and Italian Open. She was constantly in the top 10 and delivered some interesting results through the season.
Zhang’s Best Run in Melbourne Since 2016
The last time Zhang found herself past the second round at the Australian Open was back in 2016 when she made it as far as the quarterfinal. The 29-year-old started her campaign in the competition against the Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, whom she defeated 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
Her second round fixture was comparatively easier when as she met Krystina Pliskova and moved past the Czech in straight sets.
With those moves, the Chinese player has already delivered the best performance of her season so far. Before arriving in Melbourne, she played in Shenzhen and Hobart where she lost in the first rounds.
As for her performance in the previous season, she was a semifinalist in the WTA Prague, Hong Kong, and Hiroshima.
Svitolina v Zhang – Head to Head
The two ladies have met only once on the WTA Tour. That match took place in the second round of the 2016 Miami Masters, where Svitolina won 6-3, 6-0.
Svitolina v Zhang – Who Will Win?
Svitolina is in a superior form and is well-versed with playing on the big stage. Given how she has been performing in Melbourne so far, she shouldn’t face any difficulty in defeating Zhang and reaching the next round.
You can watch & bet on Elina Svitolina v Shuai Zhang live with bet365 here on Saturday, January 19.