Strasbourg Open: Elina Svitolina notches a first in a long while; Alize Cornet exits

Anna-Lena Friedsam bagged a one-sided triumph over Shuai Zhang

by Abbey Johnson
Strasbourg Open: Elina Svitolina notches a first in a long while; Alize Cornet exits

Elina Svitolina won her first match on the WTA Tour since her return to competitive tennis post pregnancy at the Strasbourg Open. The Ukrainian, who received a main draw wildcard, defeated American Louisa Chirico, 6-4, 7-6(1) in their first-round match on Monday.

The match lasted an hour and 53 minutes and featured multiple breaks of serve. The former world no. 3 finished the proceedings by saving 10 of 15 break points and converting six of 11 break points on Chirico’s serve. Svitolina, whose comeback began at the Charleston Open in April this year, will play New Zealand’s Erin Routliffe.

Routliffe got into the main draw as a lucky loser and in her first round, defeated Su-Wei Hsieh, who qualified for the main draw, 7-6(2), 1-6, 6-1.

Strasbourg Open: Shuai Zhang's shocker

Sixth seed Varvara Gracheva also moved into the round-of-16 of the French event.

The world no. 44 needed around two hours and 30 minutes to defeat Chinese Zhuoxuan Bai on Tuesday. The 22-year-old eventually prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(3) against the lucky loser. Gracheva’s next opponent will be local hope, Selena Janicijevic.

Janicijevic won a match against fellow countrywoman Oceane Dodin 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 in their round-of-32 meeting. Meanwhile, another Chinese player, third seed Shuai Zhang suffered a lopsided routing at the hands of Germany’s Anna-Lena Friedsam.

Friedsam completed a 6-0, 6-0 win in just 48 minutes. The world no. 92 won 94% of her first-serve points and 86% points on return on Zhang’s second serve. She didn’t face any break point and converted six of seven break points on her higher-ranked opponent’s serve.

Alize Cornet also lost in the Strasbourg Open in the first round. Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova got the better of the French favourite in a match that crossed the three-hour-mark. Tomova dropped the opening set but came back to clinch a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 win for herself.

Elina Svitolina Alize Cornet Shuai Zhang