Elina Svitolina secured a victory against Caroline Wozniacki in the ASB Classic‘s first-round, continuing her dominance over the former world No.1. The match, lasting one hour and 45 minutes, showcased the Ukrainian’s resilience, clinching a 6-4 6-3 win.
The world No.25 Svitolina outplayed Wozniacki, improving her head-to-head record against the Dane to 5-1, with all their previous encounters occurring between 2016 and 2018. Both players marked successful comebacks from maternity leave in 2023, with Svitolina winning the WTA Comeback Player of the Year award.
Despite Wozniacki’s past success at the ASB Classic, Svitolina, making her tournament debut, prevented the two-time Auckland finalist from securing her 20th career match-win at the tournament.
Wildcard Wozniacki showcased a strong performance in the match, although she faced challenges in crucial moments. Despite holding a break advantage at 4-3 in the first set, she couldn’t capitalize on subsequent opportunities, notably leading 40-15 in three consecutive games but ultimately losing them. The missed chances prevented her from closing the opening set at 6-4.
During the second set, Svitolina saw her 4-1 advantage diminish to 4-3. However, she managed to convert her fourth break point in a demanding game, securing another break to lead 5-3. Facing one final break point, the second seed held firm before closing out the match while serving.
Despite the scoreline suggesting a clear win for Svitolina, the match was considerably closer. Wozniacki had several opportunities in closely contested games, but Svitolina demonstrated her ability to excel in crucial moments, securing those pivotal points.
Looking ahead, Svitolina anticipates facing 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu in the second round of Auckland.