In one of just two all-seeded match-ups from the top half of the draw, the number 11 seed, Elina Svitolina will play the number 24 seed, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the third round of the 2017 Australian Open.
Svitolina and Pavlyuchenkova have both yet to drop a set this week in Melbourne. Svitolina defeated the qualifier, Julia Boserup, 6-4 6-1 in 76 minutes on Wednesday. Svitolina admitted in her post-match interview that she didn’t play her best but there were some promising signs as she served out the first set to love and closed proceedings in the second set with a return winner, having been 40-0 down on Boserup’s serve. Svitolina has made a very encouraging start to the year, spearheaded by her win over the world number one, Angelique Kerber in Brisbane.
Pavlyuchenkova enjoyed a routine win over another qualifier, Natalia Vikhlyantseva, 6-2 6-2. It was a sharp and focused second round display from Pavlyuchenkova who finished with statistics of 30 winners to 13 unforced errors. Pavlyuchenkova, who reached the quarter-finals of Sydney last week, has made a positive start to her Australian Open campaign. While her talent is undeniable, advancing past the players she is expected to beat has often been a stumbling block.
Head-to-head record: Pavlyuchenkova won their first two clashes in Sofia (6-2 6-4, 2013) and Beijing (6-4 1-6 6-3, 2015) but it was Svitolina who won their most recent encounter, a tight two setter in Tokyo towards the end of 2016, 7-6(5) 6-4
Interesting stat: The winner of this match will reach the second week of the Australian Open for the first time in their career. Svitolina has only ever made the second week of the French Open, while Pavlyuchenkova will be looking to complete the clean sweep of second week showings at the Slams.
Final thoughts: This will be a severe test of Svitolina’s credentials against an in-form, Pavlyuchenkova. The Russian player has the far more expansive game, but Svitolina has qualities that make her extremely tough to break down. Svitolina has been more positive in her on-court tactics over the last six months and while still relying on her defence and movement as her greatest strengths, has looked to come forward more and go for her shots in the high-stake moments. Svitolina will need to step up her game – if she can be a little more positive than her first two outings, granted she hasn’t needed to, then I think she’ll take this in three sets.
9 thoughts on “Australian Open 2017, 3rd Round Preview for Friday: Elina Svitolina v Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova”
I feel like Pavs plays better against aggressive, hard hitters than against a more defensive player like Svitolina. She’s not as great a shot maker when forced to produce her own pace. And if Elina can keep Anastasia moving around the court then she should be able to get the job done.
I agree with Andrew. I like Pavs but I think Elina will win this one, maybe in three.
Very well deserved win for Pavlyuchenkova.
In the end Svitolina was only running and fighting, but Pavs was attacking the whole time and was rewarded after a last loong game.
That’s a great win for Pavs!
Svitolina played a tactically poor match. Too slow mentally. Pavs did what she knew how to, attack attack attack. She even played with more variety than Svitolina. Pavs just needs a little patience sometimes, she could become a dogged player to deal with.
I think Karolina has spoiled me with her power tennis, I had to pinch myself sometimes to believe Krystina was her twin sister. Almost got irritated knowing what Karolina would have done in her shoes. Nerves just got the better of her against a Kerber who is out there to defend her honour. Didnt help that she is left handed as well playing another lefty. Anyway didnt think Kerber was going to come unstuck here just expected better competition.
Bouchard just couldn’t close anything to save her life, well done Coco for edging it.
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Interested to see if Coco can give Kerber a good fight. If they play in the daytime then she could hit her off the court. She did serve Angie a bagel in their only completed match (which Kerber won).
Dangerous match-up for sure.
svitolina sooooo frustrating to watch, welldone to Pav she did what she had to and even when she wobbled a little bit she did not lose her head…svitolina on the other hand its more suprising when she holds serve…just poor.
Disappointing to hear about Elina!