Elina Svitolina continues her bid for a first title in almost two years when she meets qualifier Olga Govortsova in the Monterrey second round on Thursday.
?? Elina Svitolina  vs ?? Olga Govortsova [Q] Match Info
Date: Thursday March 5
Tournament: WTA Monterrey R2
Court: Estadio GNP Seguros
Time: 8.30pm local time (2.30am GMT)
Elina Svitolina vs Olga Govortsova Head-to-Head
Elina Svitolina vs Olga Govortsova Match Preview
It’s been a rough season for Svitolina so far, but perhaps the Ukrainian is set to turn things around in Monterrey as she goes up against Govortsova for a place in the quarter-finals on Thursday.
Arriving in Monterrey on the back of a three-match losing streak (where she failed to win more than four games in those six sets), Svitolina restored some confidence with a comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory over Danka Kovinic in the opening round. Svitolina registered her third straight win over Kovinic, taking 83 per cent of points behind her first serve, while she never faced a break point in the clean 60-minute triumph.
“For me, the goal is to win the tournament,” Svitolina told media after her win. “I’ll try to do my best, try to recover and be ready for every single match.”
“You have to be ready. There’s no easy matches.”
Without a title since Rome 2018, Svitolina has suffered some worrying defeats so far in 2020 as she came into Monterrey with a 4-6 record for the year.
Indeed, Svitolina launched her season in Brisbane where she was demolished 6-1 6-1 by Danielle Collins in the opening round, while she was upstaged by Garbine Muguruza 6-1 6-2 in the third round of the Australian Open. Things have only got worse for Svitolina over the last month, with the Ukrainian falling 6-4 6-2 to Nao Hibino in the quarter-finals of Hua Hin before suffering another crushing loss to Jennifer Brady in the opening round of Dubai, falling 6-2 6-1. Svitolina then fell 6-3 6-3 to Amanda Anisimova in her first match in Doha.
The manner of those one-sided defeats is worrying if you’re Svitolina – one of her primary attributes is her ability to fight in matches, but she’s been surrendering meekly in literally every single one of her defeats in 2020.
Injuries have contributed to Svitolina’s loss of form over the last year, but it appeared as if the 25-year-old was on her way back after ending 2019 on a positive note, returning to the final of the season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen, beating the likes of Karolina Pliskova, Sofia Kenin, Simona Halep and Belinda Bencic before going down to Ashleigh Barty. That run salvaged Svitolina’s top 10 ranking, but she’s certainly not playing like a top 10 player at the moment.
Can she get something cooking in Monterrey this week?
Govortsova may have tumbled down the rankings over the last few years, partly in fact due to injuries, but the 31-year-old brings an eight-match winning streak into this clash after winning the $100k ITF tournament in Nicholasville a few weeks ago, defeating the likes of Astra Sharma, Mona Barthel and Madison Brengle along the way. Govortsova has continued her winning ways in Monterrey, qualifying for the main draw with straight set victories over Marcela Zacarias and Kristina Kucova, while she came from a set down to defeat Caroline Dolehide 3-6 6-2 6-1 in the opening round of the main draw, which was her first tour-level victory since September 2018.
Govortsova was ranked as high as No. 35 in the world back in 2008 when she reached her first WTA final in Memphis as a 20-year-old, losing to Lindsay Davenport, but she’s hasn’t been able to climb any higher than that over the course of the last decade, reaching three more WTA finals between 2009 and 2013, while her best Grand Slam result came in 2015 when she qualified at Wimbledon and beat the likes of Ana Konjuh, Alize Cornet and Magdalena Rybarikova before falling to Madison Keys in the fourth round. As mentioned, injuries hit Govortsova soon after and she hasn’t competed in a slam or Premier Mandatory main draw since 2016. Can the Belarusian continue her great form and perhaps secure the first top 10 scalp of her career in Monterrey?
Elina Svitolina vs Olga Govortsova Prediction
Govortsova appears to be on her way back to the top 100, at least if she keeps up her current form, but she has struggled against top 10 opposition throughout her career. Svitolina isn’t playing like a top 10 player at the moment, but she remains extremely solid and she looked pretty good in her Monterrey opener. There’s a lot of player in the draw that could upset Svitolina at the moment, but I’m not sure Govortsova – as good as she’s been lately – is one of them…