Elina Svitolina is one win away from her first WTA title in almost two years as she faces Marie Bouzkova in the Monterrey final on Sunday.
?? Elina Svitolina  vs ?? Marie Bouzkova  Match Info
Date: Sunday March 8
Tournament: WTA Monterrey Final
Court: Estadio GNP Seguros
Time: 4.30pm local (10.30pm GMT)
Elina Svitolina vs Marie Bouzkova Head-to-Head
Bouzkova leads 1-0
2019 | Guangzhou R2 | Bouzkova 6-4 4-3 RET
Elina Svitolina vs Marie Bouzkova Match Preview
Both Svitolina and Bouzkova have advanced into the Monterrey final without dropping a set – who emerges triumphant with the silverware on Sunday?
Svitolina has improved with every match this week, starting her campaign with a 6-3 6-2 win over Danka Kovinic and 6-3 6-4 triumph over Olga Govortsova before raising her level for the challenge of 17-year-old sensation Leylah Fernandez in the quarter-finals, beating last week’s Acapulco runner-up by a 6-4 7-5 scoreline.
The Ukrainian then went to another level in Saturday night’s semi-finals against Arantxa Rus, completing dominating the Dutchwoman from start to finish, registering a 6-0 6-1 victory in just 50 minutes. Svitolina never faced a break point and won a whopping 63 per cent of points on Rus’s serve, while she also lost just five points in the last five games of the match. Speaking after the match, Svitolina was delighted with how she performed.
“It was an amazing match from me,” she said. “I was very solid from the baseline and I was serving well, so hopefully I can keep it up for the final as well.”
It’s turning out to be a confidence-boosting week for Svitolina, who’s 2020 season so far has been defined by a number of crushing defeats, including 6-1 6-1 to Danielle Collins in Brisbane, 6-1 6-2 to Garbine Muguruza in the Australian Open, 6-4 6-2 to Nao Hibino in Hua Hin, 6-2 6-1 to Jennifer Brady in Dubai and 6-3 6-3 to Amanda Anisimova in Doha last week.
Svitolina’s loss of form to kick-start the season is more surprising when you consider her strong finish to 2019, which included reaching the U.S. Open semi-finals (after previously making the final four at Wimbledon) and returning to the WTA Finals title match in Shenzhen, where she beat the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Sofia Kenin, Simona Halep and Belinda Bencic before falling to World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty.
Has Svitolina turned a corner in Monterrey? She goes after her first title since Rome 2018 on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Bouzkova has progressed to her maiden WTA final without dropping a set as well, conquering the likes of Kristina Kucova 6-4 6-2, Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-4 6-1, Wang Yafan 6-2 7-5 and second seed Johanna Konta 6-3 6-4 in the semi-finals. The 21-year-old is continuing a love affair with Mexico after making her WTA debut in Acapulco in 2015, reaching the WTA 125 Guadalajara final last year and winning two ITF tournaments throughout her career.
“I love to play in Mexico. I always get so much love here,” Bouzkova said after defeating Konta, earning big applause from the Mexican fans. “It’s an amazing feeling and I feel like I’m playing at home. I’m really excited to be in the final tomorrow.”
Bouzkova enjoyed a nice breakout season in 2019, cracking the top 100 for the first time, with her best result coming at the Premier-5 level Rogers Cup in Toronto, where she qualified for the main draw and advanced all the way to the semi-finals, beating Sloane Stephens and Simona Halep before going down to Serena Williams in three sets.
After finishing last year at No. 57 in the world, Bouzkova didn’t have a great start to 2020 before this week, losing in the opening rounds of Brisbane, Hobart, the Australian Open and Acapulco, with her only main draw wins coming at the $100k ITF event in Nicholasville, where she was knocked out in the quarter-finals by Francoise Abanda. However, Bouzkova is playing some fantastic tennis in Monterrey and now stands one win from a first WTA title.
Elina Svitolina vs Marie Bouzkova Prediction
It promises to be a cracking clash between two in-form players who haven’t dropped a set all week. Bouzkova proved last year she has what it takes to beat top 10 players, and with Svitolina’s poor start to the season and pressure to win a first title in nearly two years, the Czech certainly has a chance to take advantage. I think Svitolina, at her best, is too consistent from the baseline in this match-up, but will the Ukrainian bring her best form to the table?