Former world No 3 Elina Svitolina has made a winning start to her ITF Saint-Malo campaign after beating 152nd-ranked Despina Papamichail. Svitolina, now ranked at No 1088 in the world, saw off Papamichail in straight sets 7-5 6-1.
The first break of the match was seen in the second game, when Svitolina broke Papamichail for a 2-0 lead. Svitolina got broken back in the third game but she broke Papamichail again in the fourth game for a 3-1 lead. Down by a break, Papamichail refused to quit as she got the break back for a second time in the seventh game.
However, blowing two early breaks didn't impact Svitolina, who broke Papamichail in the 12th game - when the Greek was serving to stay in the first set. After winning a tight first set, Svitolina started the second set with an early break and a 3-0 lead.
In the sixth game, Svitolina broke Papamichail again for a 5-1 lead before serving out for the match in the following game.
Svitolina plays Ysaline Bonaventure next
In the Saint-Malo round-of-16, Svitolina will be meeting 84th-ranked Bonaventure for the first time in her career.
After Saint-Malo, Svitolina will return to the main level and compete in Rome and the French Open. "I would like to spend all my time with Skai and share every moment with her, but I decided to return to competition and focus on my tennis.
I don't know how many more seasons I will play, but there are some milestones I would like to achieve before retiring. In the near future I am clear about my plans. I will play an ITF tournament in Oeiras, Portugal, then I will rest for a week and then I will play a WTA 125 in Saint-Malo.
In May I will use the protected ranking to play the WTA 1000 in Rome, then Strasbourg and finally Roland Garros," Svitolina said recently.
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