AMAZING! Elina Svitolina Saves 2 Match Points to Dethrone Defending Champion Petra Kvitova in Stuttgart Open 2021

Published 04/23/2021, 2:37 PM EDT
Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 13, 2021 Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina after winning her third round match against Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva REUTERS/Kelly Defina


Current world number five, Elina Svitolina stunned the Czech player Petra Kvitova in three grueling sets to reach the semi-finals at the WTA Stuttgart Open.

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Svitolina continued her winning momentum against the Czech since their last meeting in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open late last month.  It was a tight three-setter where Kvitova took the first set comfortably but narrowly missed the mark in the next two sets.

Petra Kvitova won a tightly contested first-set

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Coming to the matchup today, it was a pretty tight first set from both the players as they kept exchanging breaks of serve with enthralling baseline rallies, adding more quality to the match.

Svitolina’s weak serve often lands her in trouble, and when that goes against a player with a very-good return game up her sleeve, her confidence levels drop. The same happened on the first-set tiebreak with Kvitova landing most of her first-serves in, creating more pressure on the Ukrainian.

Her first-serve and forehand combination worked well as she edged Svitolina in a tight first set,7-6.

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Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 10, 2021 Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova in action during her second round match against Romania’s Sorana Cirstea REUTERS/Kelly Defina

A shaky second-set from both Petra Kvitova and Elina Svitolina

Svitolina was off to a shaky start in the second set as she barely managed to get past her first two service games. Kvitova once again managed to get the better of the Ukrainian’s serve in the fourth game and got her first break point to get a lead of 3-1.

The next few service games from both the players were quite normal. Both the players made unforced errors from both the forehand and the backhand wings quite often. At 5-3, Kvitova was serving for the match.

It was then the nerves took over the Czech player as she missed an overhead smash, and handed over the game to Svitolina.

Despite her inconsistent serve, Svitolina showed grit in the 10th game of the set; she saved two match-points and leveled the score at 5-5. As the momentum swung the Ukrainian’s way, Kvitova lost her serve in the next game as well.

With more errors flowing from Kvitova’s racquet, Svitolina deservedly won the second set after winning the 12th game on her serve, 7-5. From 2-5 down in the set, Svitolina won the 5 consecutive games before clinching the set. While the Czech player let the nerves get the better of her, it was Svitolina who marched down the latter half of the second set even though she was far off from playing her best tennis.

Svitolina played the cards right in the third set

Unable to break the shackles, the trauma of the second set continued to haunt Kvitova as she looked out of sorts right from the sort. On the other hand, Svitolina played to her strengths by hitting deep backhand returns on the Czech’s serve.

The Ukrainian wasted no time in breaking the serve of Kvitova right at the third game. Since then, it has been a slew of errors from Kvitova’s forehand as the match slipped away quickly.

Tennis – Australian Open – Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia, February 13, 2021 Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina reacts during her third round match against Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva REUTERS/Kelly Defina

With Svitolina gaining confidence with each service game, she began to hit the ball better and at the right spots and created more trouble for her lefty opponent. Serving at 5-2 in the third, the Ukrainian faced some resistance from Kvitova as the latter took the game to deuce. But, Svitolina remained strong on her baseline game to seal the match, 6-7(4), 7-5,6-2 in 2 hours and 37 minutes.

Elina Svitolina will now face Ashleigh Barty for a place in the Stuttgart Open finals.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

88 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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