Elina Svitolina drops ultimate praise on Emma Raducanu after tight Auckland battle


Elina Svitolina drops ultimate praise on Emma Raducanu after tight Auckland battle
© Getty Images Sport - Hannah Peters

Elina Svitolina dropped some high praise on Emma Raducanu following their Auckland match, saying that their clash reminded her of the one she had against world No. 1 Iga Swiatek during last year's Wimbledon.

Svitolina, seeded at No. 2, overcame Raducanu 6-7 (5) 7-6 (3) 6-1 in a match that featured high-quality tennis. In the first two sets, Svitolina and Raducanu were constantly going at each other as winners and great shots were blasting from both sides. 

Unfortunately, Raducanu - who was playing her first tournament in eight months after three surgeries - was seemingly left without fuel in the third set as her intensity and level noticeably dropped in the decider. Still, Svitolina felt it was among the top-2 matches she has played in level-wise.

Elina Svitolina
Elina Svitolina© Getty Images Sport - Hannah Peters

In the summer of 2023, Svitolina stunned four-time Grand Slam champion Swiatek 7-5 6-7 (5) 6-2 in the Wimbledon quarterfinal.

“It was at a really high level. I would say it was a similar match I had with Iga at Wimbledon. We were striking the ball well with every point finishing with a winner pretty much. It was good, competitive sets and it was the second best match I’ve played level-wise," Svitolina said in her press conference after the match.

Svitolina was on the brink of losing against Raducanu

In the first set, Svitolina stunningly came back from a 5-1 deficit to force a tie-break. Just when it seemed Svitolina would steal the first set from Raducanu, the Briton managed to earn two consecutive set points in the tie-break and realize her first to take the opener.

Emma Raducanu
Emma Raducanu© Getty Images Sport - Hannah Peters

After losing the first set, Svitolina was twice up by a break in the second set but Raducanu both times recovered. Eventually, the second set also went into a tie-break. 

Early in the second-set tie-break, Svitolina found herself trailing 3-1 as Raducanu was four points away from victory. On the brink of losing the match, Svitolina fired a backhand winner and a service winner to tie to three points apiece. Then, Raducanu made a couple of unforced errors as Svitolina ended up forcing the decider.

The third set was a pretty one-sided battle as Svitolina opened a comfortable 5-0 lead before serving out for the match in the seventh game.

Elina Svitolina Emma Raducanu