15th seed at the tournament, Elina Svitolina was made to work hard by World No. 107 Harmony Tan who was unfortunate to injure herself and was carried out of the Margaret Court Arena on a wheelchair handing a 6-3, 5-7, 5-1 win to Svitolina with 2 hours and 7 minutes on the clock.
After a comfortable first set, Svitolina looked to end the proceedings in the second set and had a match point in her hand but failed to capture it as Tan held her serve to level the set at 5-5 and won the next two games to win the set and forced a third set where she injured her leg and had to retire from the match despite having taped her leg in the attempt to finish the match correctly.
Elina however had a good outing with her service game as she fired 4 aces and did not concede any. She had 2 double faults whereas Harmony had 7 to her name. While both players had 43 unforced errors to their name, Svitolina hit 32 winners to Harmony’s 24 and had 97 points to her name while the 24-year old Frenchwoman had 77 when she retired from the game.
“It is always horrible for any athlete to get injured during the competition and hopefully Harmony can recover and will be back on the court very soon. She played really well it took me a little bit of time to comeback into the match. She was playing well in the beginning and then made it not easy for me. She’s playing really well so it has been a tough match for me, hopefully, I can do better next match.
“It was important for me to reset and be mentally fresh. In the end, I fought the way into the third set and was playing much better and unfortunately Harmony could not complete and couldn’t play her best. So it is tough to see a player going out like this,” said Svitolina during her on-court interview as she was applauded for looking after Harmony till the medical team arrived and waited for her to be taken off first.
Victoria Azarenka awaits Elina Svitolina in the third round
Champion in 2012 and 2013 Australian Open, former World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka will be the opponent of Svitolina in the third round. Azarenka is yet to drop a set in both of her victories at the Slam so far and has not dropped more than 4 games in a single match so far this week in Melbourne Park.
“I have played singles, we’ve played doubles, practised many times together so we know each other’s game and it’s gonna be an exciting match definitely and I am looking forward to this challenge,” said Svitolina on the prospect of playing the 2-time Grand Slam champion in the next round which will be one of the biggest round 3 matches.