Match Points, Highlights of Rome: Svitolina wins fourth title of 2017, #1 in the Race

Rome concluded on Sunday with a fourth title for Elina Svitolina in another three set finale on the WTA tour in 2017. This post brings together the highlights from the tournament including a recap of the final and links to the best points, media and plenty more. All previous Match Points tournament summaries from 2016 and 2017 can be found HERE. Read on for the best bits from Rome…
Match Points

Singles Champion

Elina Svitolina won her fourth WTA title of 2017 and second Premier 5 tournament of the year, beating Simona Halep, 4-6 7-5 6-1 in Sunday’s Rome final. The final wasn’t a classic by any means with both players struggling physically – perhaps more concerning of the pair’s injuries was Halep’s ankle roll in the first set which looked nasty. I was surprised she was able to play on and she didn’t get it taped up until the end of the second set.

Playing more aggressively as the match wore on and dropping just three points behind her first serve in the deciding set, Svitolina ran away with the third set to secure her sixth top ten win of 2017. Svitolina is enjoying a great year and I can’t quite get my head around her being number one in the Race! I’m intrigued to see what she can do at Roland Garros – an outside contender for me. Halep ran out of steam today after a brutal two weeks but there are still many positives for her to take away. I’m a bit worried about the ankle…

Doubles Champions

Chan Yung-Jan and Martina Hingis won the doubles title, beating Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina in Sunday’s final, 7-5 7-6(4).

Super Snap

I loved this snap from Dominika Cibukova’s Instagram page.

monday morning for me #rome🇮🇹🎾

A post shared by Dominika Cibulkova (@domicibulkova) on

Comeback Kid

Daria Gavrilova reached the quarter-finals with three three set wins over Madison Keys, Caroline Garcia and Svetlana Kuznetsova; in the first and third round matches, Gavrilova came from a set down and then a break down in the decider to maintain her superb record in Rome. Gavrilova has reached at least the third round in her last three appearances, twice coming through as a qualifier and making a deep run in the main draw.

Best Shot(s)

Quite a few stunners this week. Firstly, how did Venus get this back into play?!

Pinpoint perfection on the lob from Daria Gavrilova at a critical stage of her third round match against Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Gorgeous feel from Kiki Bertens to win her first point in Saturday’s semi-final against Simona Halep.

Super Sportsmanship

Daria needed the hug… Barbora was there!

Not really sportsmanship but I loved this moment between Karolina Pliskova and Timea Bacsinszky before they played out their third round match.

Cracking Quote

Good stuff from Mirjana Lucic-Baroni. Love the first line and so true!

Tennis Draw Challenge Champion

Congratulations to ToMMo who won the Draw Challenge for Rome. To join in the fun, you can enter Tennis Draw Challenge and join the Moo’s Tennis Blog league.

I’ll now be taking a much-needed break before Roland Garros. It will be good to follow RG this year as I was on holiday for most of it last year. I’m planning to cover all of the grass court season and i’ll be live from Eastbourne! 🙂

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20 thoughts on “Match Points, Highlights of Rome: Svitolina wins fourth title of 2017, #1 in the Race

  1. Good result for Svitolina, hopefully she’ll use it to prep for the biggest ones now. Much welcomed confidence booster. It’s the openness of the tour, you do the work and come up on top here and there the race will come to you. I hope Halep recovers fully for the french, she is one the players that the tournament needs now.

    Now, off to see how Djoko pans out against Zverev. Not sure what the hype is all about though.

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  2. Folks are running out of reasons not to like Svitolina now. She’s competing and winning the bigger titles. She’s up to 6 top 10 wins this year. She leads the tour with 4 titles, an 84.5% win rate and she’s actually quite a healthy lead ahead in the Road to Singapore with arguably her best portion of the year still to come.

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    • Sorry to say it, but I think svitolina’s this year’s record over top 5 is kinda misleading. She won 3 over kerber when she was playing quite below her level, secondly pliskova whose worst surface is clay and that’s elina’s fvt surface so having a win is not that much a factor and lastly over halep we all know how that match went today. Eli was also very hyped at Australian open but she lost to pavltuchenkova before reaching the 2nd week. Now I hope that she does good at RG but i hardly think that she will do because she was physically not quite well either at Rome final…

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      • She’s just taking chances when they’re given to her. Every other player gets the opportunity to play top players on their weaker surfaces and when they’re having off days. And yet she’s still the one leading the tour.
        At what point will people stop crying ‘fluke’? Does she need to beat every top ten player on every surface in order to convince you people?!

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      • I’m not actually trying to discredit her achievements all I’m saying is she is yet to declare herself as top contender. She is looking strong but that’s not the reality. RG will probably show her real competitiveness.
        BTW I am a fan of eli too but for me she has not done anything great but what I do like most about her is her confidence and I think 4 titles at the very start of the year might bring good fortunes for her. But still it’s hard to believe it

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      • All I know is that people keep setting her a target to reach in order to be considered a top player. Everytime she hits it, suddenly that’s not enough and they set a bigger target. I wonder if she’d even get due praise if she won a Slam, or whether that’d also be considered ‘misleading’.

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      • well to be honest she has not done anything great at grand slams and until and unless she does so, she won’t be given any praise.

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      • She’s made the second week at the French Open the past two years running, last year she lost out to Serena, so it seems fairly likely that she’ll make a good run this year.

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  3. Well, Halep has won Madrid two year running, without facing a top 10 player. She made and played the final in Rome without facing a top 10 player. It’s quite remarkable for a player to win a Premier 5 or a Mandatory event without facing a top 10 player (considering that these events are designed to have the top players in the events) In fact in 2017, Halep has faced one top 10 player, in Konta at the Miami Mandatory event (semi-final) and is 0-1. Svitolina has face 6 top 10 players this year, and is 4-2.

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    • Simona being a top 10 for so long can only meet with top 10 players in the final stages of the tournaments and this is not always the case. She did meet players well placed in the race (Eli included). She also met JoKo in FedCup. Top 10 on clay is quite a disaster so I don´t get all this “top 10, no top 10” discussion. Sam, Sevastova, Bertens, Siegemund are far more dangerous than Pliskova or Angie on clay, I would say.

      However, I don´t see the point in comparing Eli with Simo. The match went as it went, Eli is obviously improving and on the rise, but she still has a lot of work to do and results to gain untill she reaches Simo´s results. No point in comparing them. Eli´s choice to play lower events with weaker fields impacts a bit people´s perception on her. That aside, no need to compare so much, each player has her story and her results, but if you do feel like comparing I think the comparison does not stand 100%. To win this tournament Eli (whom I like, so no hate here) had to play Alize Cornet, Mona Barthel (exhausted), Pliskova (clay disaster), Mugu retired and Simo was obviously dominating the game up until the ankle twist. So if you debate Simo´s titles, don´t be biased and don´t use double standards.

      Conclusion: Eli is nice and on the rise, but in my opinion she still has a lot to improve and maybe prove (though I don´t agree with this concept). She is a long way behind Simo. Wish all the best for both girls in RG, especially to Simo, for whom the ankle twist was really really unfortunate 😦

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  4. Thing is we are not asking for one person to dominate. Most fans just want players in the Top 10 that they can rely on to play good tennis week to week and can go deep in at least a couple of slams per year. Unfortunately the quality of tennis being played is so much lower than 5 years ago – I am actually fearful for the French Open as opposed to feeling excitement 😦

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    • Wait a minute, who could we rely on 5 years ago? Between 2011 and 2013 only Serena and Azarenka could be considered reliable, and even then both women threw in shockers. Sharapova has never won slams in successive years, let alone multiple slams in one year. The other form players (Kvitova, Li Na, Wozniacki) who weren’t remotely reliable in big events. Then you had the one Slam wonders like Schiavonne, Stosur, Bartoli…

      I think tennis, like many other things in life, always unfairly gets criticized in comparison with era’s gone by. It happens with film, it happens with music. The standard is no worse. It’s just different.

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  5. I agree with MLB. I like the fact the tournament are wide open with no one knowing who will win the event. I disagree with The Moo and think that Halep’s performance was 100% due to the ankle.

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  6. Wozniaki vs Rogers in Strasbourg—-Hard court tennis on clay. Rogers was keeping the points short going for winners. Rogers went up 4-1 in the first set, but The Woz came back to tie it up and go to a tiebreak. Woz went up 5-0 in the break but Rogers won the next 5 points to tie the score. The players went back and forth until Rogers won the break 10-8. Woz called for the trainer for a lower back problem. After a massage The Woz lost the serve the first game of the 2nd set and retired.

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