UPSET! Elina Svitolina Halted in Eastbourne, Loses Hard Fought Battle to Serena Williams’ Slayer Elena Rybakina at French Open

Published 06/23/2021, 10:15 AM EDT
Tennis – WTA 500 – bett1 Open – Rot-Weiss Tennis Club, Berlin, Germany – June 16, 2021 Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina reacts after losing her round of 16 match against Russia’s Ekaterina Alexandrova REUTERS/Annegret Hilse


World No.5 and second seed Elina Svitolina was ousted from WTA Eastbourne Open by Elena Rybakina, who had defeated Serena Williams at French Open 2021.

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Elena Rybakina stuns Elina Svitolina at WTA Eastbourne

Rybakina looked solid in front of Svitolina early on. She maintained a strong serve and was hitting her stroke cleanly from the baseline. Rybakina was triumphing in the longer rallies, however, Svitolina was also using her experience. At 3-3, both the players survived initial jabs.

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Elena Rybakina in action during her round of 32 match against Britain’s Harriet Dart. REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

From 3-3, Svitolina was a bit conservative and Rybakina saw an opportunity. Svitolina saved her serve to lead 4-3, however, Rybakina finished her service game in a minute to level the opening set, 4-4. No player had faced a break point until 4-4.

But then, Rybakina pressured Svitolina, and the Ukrainian gave a break point, Rybakina converted the opportunity to serve for the set, 5-4. She didn’t hesitate and took the first set, 6-4.

Elena Rybakina halts Elina Svitolina’s comeback in the second set

Svitolina was in turmoil, as none of her strokes were landing. Rybakina saw another break point in the first game, however, her backhand let her down. And while serving next, Rybakina hit multiple backhand unforced errors as Svitolina saw her first break points of the match. However, Rybakina regained her strong first serves and leveled the set, 1-1.

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Rybakina regained her rhythm on her backhand and hence was pouncing on every stroke. She needed just one break point to gain an advantage in the second set as Svitolina was frustrated. Rybakina extended her lead to 4-2 and looked to get a second break in the set. However, Svitolina held on and Rybakina was put in a spot of bother. Svitolina converted her sixth break point in a seven-minute service game from Rybakina to level the set, 4-4.

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However, Svitolina’s poor service continued as Rybakina dominated from the net to get the break back and serve for the match at 5-4. But nerves got the better of Rybakina as she faltered while serving for the set and Svitlolina survived again, 5-5. The set went into a tiebreaker, where Rybakina took the initial, 5-1 lead. She converted her fourth match point, 7-3 to win the match, 6-4, 7-6.

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Bhavishya Mittal

1226 articles

Bhavishya Mittal is a tennis author for EssentiallySports, who is currently pursuing his Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Manipal University. A former sports editor for The Manipal Journal, Bhavishya has also worked for The New Indian Express. He has a keen eye for many sports but he is a particularly ardent follower of tennis, with a zest to create riveting articles on the ever-evolving sport.

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