Elina Svitolina targets her fifth straight win over Lauren Davis when the pair square off for a spot in the Australian Open third round on Thursday.
Elina Svitolina ?? vs Lauren Davis ?? Match Info
Date: Thursday January 23
Tournament: Australian Open R2
Court: Margaret Court Arena
Time: 9.00pm local time (10.00am GMT)
Elina Svitolina vs Lauren Davis Head-to-Head
Svitolina leads 4-0
2017 | Dubai QF | Svitolina 6-0 6-4
2016 | US Open R64 | Svitolina 6-1 4-6 6-3
2014 | Osaka QF | Svitolina 6-2 6-4
2014 Cincinnati R64 | Svitolina 6-3 6-2
Elina Svitolina vs Lauren Davis Match Preview
Arriving at the Australian Open without a match win since October’s WTA Finals in Shenzhen, Svitolina brushed off the cobwebs with a solid opening round performance against Katie Boulter of Great Britain on Tuesday.
In the first meeting between the pair, Svitolina was her trademark solid self from the baseline, outlasting Boulter, who is making her comeback to the tour after missing more than half of 2019 through injury. Svitolina converted four of her six break point chances and struck 17 winners to prevail 6-4 7-5 in a hard-fought contest in 81 minutes.
— Elina Svitolina (@ElinaSvitolina) January 21, 2020
A quarter-finalist in Melbourne the last two years, Svitolina will be hoping to improve on that result over the next fortnight. Despite failing to win a title in 2019, Svitolina significantly improved her results at the slams, reaching back-to-back semi-finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, where she ended up losing to Simona Halep and Serena Williams respectively.
It was an up-and-down season for Svitolina in 2019 – she battled injury for much of it and as mentioned, failed to win a title, but on the other hand, she made great inroads at the majors and is now equipped with the confidence that she can make it to the business end. The Ukrainian’s results were still enough to see her qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals Shenzhen, where she was the defending champion after winning the biggest title of her career at the event in 2018. Despite coming into the event on a two-match losing run, Svitolina stepped it up to beat Karolina Pliskova, Sofia Kenin, Simona Halep and Belinda Bencic to reach the final, but she couldn’t defend her title, losing to Ashleigh Barty in straight sets.
Ending the year at No. 5 in the world, Svitolina didn’t get her 2020 season off to the best of starts as she was crushed 1-6 1-6 by Danielle Collins in Brisbane. However, Svitolina should be better for the run after beating Boulter and she next comes up against someone she has beaten in all four of their previous meetings.
Lauren Davis was involved in one of the most memorable Australian Open matches of the last decade in 2018 as she went down 15-13 in the deciding set to Halep, with that match leading to a downward spiral down the rankings for the diminutive American, who went on to battle various injury problems and fall to a year-end mark of No. 252.
Davis wouldn’t win another tour-level match after that Australian Open loss to Halep for the remainder of 2018, but she bounced back strongly in 2019 after building her ranking back up via the ITF Circuit, beating No. 5 and defending champion Angelique Kerber to make the third round at Wimbledon as a qualifier. Overall, Davis climbed 190 spots in the rankings throughout 2019 as she also made the second round of the U.S. Open and the semi-finals of the ITF event in Chicago, finishing the year at No. 62. The 26-year-old has been very solid to start 2020, taking Caroline Wozniacki to three sets in the second round of Auckland, while she also made the quarter-finals of Hobart and posted a 6-4 6-2 win over rising Canadian Leyla Fernandez in the opening round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
Elina Svitolina vs Lauren Davis Prediction
As mentioned, Svitolina has won all four of their previous encounters and only dropped one set during that time. In saying that, they haven’t played in three years and Svitolina hasn’t won many matches recently, while Davis has four matches wins for 2020 so far. The American is a fierce competitor and I can see her taking a set in Melbourne, where she’s played brilliantly in the past, but I think Svitolina should be able to work her way into the match and with some added aggression, come out on top.