Elina Svitolina attempts to snap a three-match losing streak when she faces Danka Kovinic in the first round of the Monterrey Open on Tuesday.
Svitolina vs Kovinic is live from Monterrey on Tuesday, 3 March from 2:30pm local time/ 8:30pm GMT
Svitolina has been very slow off the blocks in 2020, managing an ordinary 4-5 record for the year (minus Fed Cup)- a big anomaly for the usually consistent Ukrainian. She has already suffered three opening round exits this season, and has made just the one quarter final- at the WTA International event in Hua Hin.
The world No. 7 remains without a title since her tremendous run at the WTA Finals in Singapore in 2018, a huge surprise considering how prolific she had been in the previous campaigns. Svitolina won nine WTA titles between 2017 and 2018.
She made just one final in 2019, at the season-ending Finals in Shenzhen, which she lost to Ashleigh Barty. Despite not winning a title last season, Svitolina was not without her moments, as she recorded her best Grand Slam performances, making semi-finals at Wimbledon and the US Open.
However, she has been well short of that form in 2020. She opened her season with an opening round defeat to Danielle Collins, and was knocked out by Garbine Muguruza in the third round of the Australian Open. Svitolina was a heavy favourite to finally end her title drought at a very light Hua Hin draw, but the 25-year-old suffered a shock defeat to Japanese, Nao Hibino in the last eight.
She has failed to win a match since then, exiting Dubai and Doha in the opening rounds following defeats to Jennifer Brady and Amanda Anisimova. Svitolina has not only lost her last three matches, but also her last six sets- can she halt that slide when she faces Danka Kovinic in Monterrey on Tuesday?
Kovinic is competing in just her third tournament this season, and will be after her first win of the campaign following first round exits at the Australian Open and Acapulco.
The Montenegrin was easily beaten 6-2 6-0 by Elise Mertens in Melbourne, but she was a lot more competitive in her Acapulco defeat to Kateryna Bondarenko, falling 6-7 6-4 6-2.
Kovinic peaked at a career-high ranking of 46th in 2016, the year she reached her second WTA final in Istanbul (her first was in Tianjin towards the end of 2015), but she slid down the rankings after that following a poor run of results, dropping as low as 211th in October 2018.
The 25-year-old got herself back into the top-100 last season, majorly on the back of a strong set of results in the lower-tier tournaments. Her best WTA result was a quarter final in Tashkent, but she reached a 125K final in Bastad and a semi-final in Taipei. Kovinic also claimed ITF titles in Campinas, Ystad, and Szekesfehervar, and was a finalist in Sao Paolo and Biarritz.
She will attempt to get her first WTA main draw match win since last September (Tashkent) when she faces Monterrey top seed, Svitolina on Tuesday.
Svitolina defeated Kovinic in both of their two previous meetings, on the clay of Istanbul in 2014, and in Bogota, also on clay in 2015. The world No. 7 should be able to snap her current losing streak when she takes on the Montenegrin for the third time in Monterrey on Tuesday.