Cincinnati Preview – Elina Svitolina v Serena Williams

For the second week running Serena Williams faces one of the rising stars on the WTA tour. After beating defeated in the semi-finals of Toronto last week against Belinda Bencic the world number one will be hoping for a straight forward match this time round but faces a difficult opponent in Elina Svitolina.

Elina is 20 years old and began the week ranked at 20 in the world but even if she loses in the semi-final then she will be round about 17 in the rankings on Monday and Elina is due to play in New Haven next week where she is up against Madison Keys in R1. When people speak about these rising stars on the tour all the talk is about Bencic, Keys, Bouchard, Muguruza etc… but Svitolina always seems to slip under the radar despite over the last 12/18 months or so being very consistent and has gradually progressed up the rankings.

Elina and Serena have met twice before once at Fed Cup three years ago and at the Australian Open at the beginning of the year where Svitolina took the first set 6-4 but lost 4-6 6-2 6-0 against the world number one. I do think their meeting this time around will be much closer and an upset is possibly on the cards.

I watched Serena play against Ana and I have to say I was disappointed. I didn’t think Serena played well at all during the match. Her serve was a big problem at 47% for the match and hit 9 double faults. Ana was in pole position to win this match up 6-3 4-3 (serving for 5-3) however players do sometimes see the finish line a little early and end up losing that is what Serena can do to you! She will look out of a match for the first hour and then has the ability to turn things around very quickly.

Elina is a very good defensive player however what you don’t want to do against Serena is find yourself in an early pattern of sitting 2 metres behind the baseline as it will be difficult to turn things around. Elina can also attack very well off the forehand which is her best shot in my opinion but is also strong off the backhand.

History says this should be a win for Serena however if Serena plays how she did against Ivanovic I’m not to sure whether Elina will let her get away with it and comeback into the match and a surprise could be on the cards…

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