French Open: Elina Svitolina beats Venus Williams to reach second round


By Jonathan Jurejko

BBC Sport at Roland Garros

Elina Svitolina is a two-time French Commence quarter-finalist
2019 French Commence
Venue:Roland Garros, ParisDates:26 Can also simply-9 June
Protection:Stay textual snort material and radio commentary on selected suits on the BBC Sport net snort material and app.

Ukrainian ninth seed Elina Svitolina overcame a difficult first-spherical draw by beating seven-time Mountainous Slam champion Venus Williams in straight sets on the French Commence.

Each avid gamers struggled on inspire ahead of 24-365 days-archaic Svitolina completed each sets stronger to preserve 6-3 6-3.

American Williams, 38, has no longer gone previous the third spherical of a Slam since reaching the 2017 US Commence semi-finals.

Svitolina will play compatriot Kateryna Kozlova, the realm amount 67, next.

Svitolina, 24, uncared for two match facets ahead of sealing victory on the third opportunity when Williams sprayed a backhand into the tramlines.

The Ukrainian, a two-time Roland Garros quarter-finalist, has viewed her season disrupted by a knee wretchedness nonetheless confirmed exiguous sign of any lingering command as she won in one hour and 13 minutes.

But going into the second Mountainous Slam of the 365 days, she had no longer won no longer the clay – which she describes as her most pure ground – after successive defeats in Madrid and Rome.

That led to her jokingly describing the draw against the archaic American as more “punishment”.

Nevertheless, it used to be the Ukrainian who did the punishing as she managed to grind down Williams.

The pair exchanged five successive breaks of inspire of their opening plot, Svitolina maintaining for 5-3 and breaking once more for a one-plot lead, as 18 unforced errors flew off Williams’ racquet.

And, after Williams led 3-1 following some more erratic carrier video games, Svitolina won five successive video games to continue her file of reaching the second spherical in every of her predominant-draw appearances at Roland Garros.

Svitolina wins on new ‘backyard’ court

The brand new Court Simonne Mathieu is surrounded by four greenhouses

The first-spherical match between regarded as one of many game’s greats and a seed rated an outdoors probability of profitable the tournament used to be continuously going to pass on regarded as one of Roland Garros’ repeat courts.

So organisers opted to attach the match on the brand new Court Simonne Mathieu, showcasing an arena which they are saying is the “only plant ecosystem of its kind on this planet”.

Named after France’s second most profitable female player, the court is semi-sunken and surrounded by four greenhouses which rental tropical plant life from South The us, Africa, South East Asia and Australia.

Nevertheless, Svitolina said walking to the court – the keep spectators scuttle freely on narrow gravel paths by the gardens – used to be a “exiguous bit miserable”.

“Currently I won and it used to be good to battle by the personnel, nonetheless I focal level on when you lose that is highly, very stressful, I would sigh,” she said.

“The court itself is aesthetic. I if truth be told loved the bounce of it and I focal level on the personnel is worthy, especially when or no longer it’s a fleshy rental.”

The first match on the court used to beGarbine Muguruza’s victoryover American Taylor Townsend and the Spaniard used to be pondering her atmosphere.

“Or no longer it’s in a extremely diverse station,” said the feeble Wimbledon champion. “You catch no longer feel equivalent to you would possibly well presumably very wisely be around a court. Or no longer it’s like in a backyard. Or no longer it’s a diverse feeling. Or no longer it’s no longer tiny, alternatively or no longer it’s cosy.”

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