Elina Svitolina got out of trouble in the opening round of the Mutua Madrid Open Saturday night. The 17th ranked player from Ukraine played a strong deciding set to knock out Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Manolo Santana Court at Caja Mágica.
The Ukrainian had the edge against the Belgian since winning the opening round against her at the French Open. With the victory taking place on clay, her chance to get a win occurred in a similar way as the two opened the tournament against one another.
Wickmayer had a stronger showing in the first set winning it 6-4 where her serves worked in conjunction with each other while Svitolina struggled with her second serve. She landed just 8 of 17 and had three double faults in the 35-minute set. Svitolina also had troubles returning the ball scoring points on 4 of 22 against Wickmayer
The second set was a chance to improve as Svitolina got under control dominating the Belgian with a flawless first serve that had four aces to go along with it. Wickmayer watched as her defense fell apart on the returns landing just 1 of 21 against the 21-year-old. In the end it was Svitolina dictating the late stages of the set to win 6-3 saving the chance to still get out clean.
The third did not go her way as the Belgian led the way with Svitolina catching up each time while on serve. The two found themselves in a tie after each pair of games that put them in a 4-4 tie through eight. Wickmayer had the ball in the ninth but despite wanting to get that important fifth win, she found herself on deuce where Svitolina went for the all important break and the upper hand.
Having the opportunity to close out the match, the No. 12 seed player in the world held firm in the tenth getting herself a double match point opportunity where she won it concluding the 1 hour and 49 minutes that it took to get into the second round. Come time to play in the round of 32, Svitolina will play against the winner between Daria Gavrilova and Yulia Putinseva on Monday.