Former world No 3 Elina Svitolina has clinched her first win as a mother as the Ukrainian saw off Elena-Gabriela Ruse in her ITF Chiasso opener. Svitolina, who returned to action last week after being sidelined for 13 months, ousted seventh-seeded Ruse 6-4 6-2 in the Chiasso first round.
Early in the match, both Svitolina and Ruse routinely held on to their serves. In the ninth game – the first break points of the match were seen – as Svitolina managed to break Ruse for a 5-4 lead. Serving for the first set in the 10th game, Svitolina realized her second set point to clinch the opener.
After the first four games of the second set, not a single break point was seen. Then, Svitolina earned back-to-back breaks in the fifth and seventh games to open a 5-2 lead. In the eighth game – when Svitolina was serving for the match – the Ukrainian was feeling the nerves but still managed to convert her fifth match point and complete a two-set win.
Svitolina plays Alexandra Ignatik next
In the Chiasso round-of-16, Svitolina will be facing 217th-ranked Ignatik. Now, Svitolina is 1-1 since returning. Last week, Svitolina fell short in a three-setter to Yulia Putintseva in the Charleston first round.
“I had goosebumps. It was a really, really sweet atmosphere out there. It was so nice to see many people, and they were really cheering me on to push through some tough moments. It was not easy physically for me today, but in the end, I’m really happy with the way I played today.
Now, I can see more clear what I need to improve to be better. I think I’m hitting the ball well. I just have to work more on my fitness. I think a few bits here and there are going to help me to keep the focus more consistently, to be there in the moment.
I think a few things here and there are going to make a difference for me,” Svitolina said after returning to action last week.