Elina Svitolina vs Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Australian Open R3 Preview

Australian Open, ?? Third Round Match preview
(11) ?? Elina Svitolina vs (24) ?? Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova

Arguably the toughest third round match-up on Friday at Melbourne Park sees the 11th seeded Elina Svitolina come up against the 24th seeded Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Both Svitolina and Pavlyuchenkova enter this match in some good form and both will enter this match believing that they should win and advance to the fourth round in Melbourne for the very first time. Both ladies raced through their opening two matches in straight sets, this will be the first real test of the tournament for both, it will be interesting to see who can raise their level and come out on top.

Elina Svitolina has been one of the form players on the WTA tour in the last 6 months. The Ukrainian made a strong start to the season in Brisbane where she defeated world number 1 Angelique Kerber on route to the semi-final stage. Svitolina has got straight back to business in Melbourne, the 11th seed has been untroubled in her first two matches, beating Galina Voskoboeva 6-0 6-2 in the first round before easing past Julia Boserup 6-4 6-1 to match her best showing at the Australian Open.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova also brought good form to Melbourne Park. The Russian claimed some big wins in Sydney last week including a win over Svetlana Kuznetsova and won the doubles title alongside Timea Babos. Pavlyuchenkova has surprisingly never made it past the third round in Melbourne, so both she and Svitolina will be looking to reach the second week at Melbourne park for the first time. Pavlyuchenkova beat a pair of countrywomen to reach the third round, a 6-1 7-6 win over Evgeniya Rodina and a 6-2 6-2 win over Natalia Vikhlyantseva.

Svitolina is the higher fancied player coming into this match but Pavlyuchenkova holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over the Ukrainian and has the weapons to deal with Svitolina. Pavlyuchenkova won the first two matches between the pair, both on a hard court. It was Svitolina who won their most recent match, a 7-6 6-4 win in Tokyo late last year. Friday’s match at Melbourne Park should be a really tight one, Svitolina is obviously the better mover and defender on the court but Pavlyuchenkova has more weapons and greater willingness to come forward. In theory, this is a good match-up for Pavlyuchenkova and I think she is playing well enough to cause an upset here if she maintains her composure in the important moments.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to defeat Elina Svitolina in 3 sets


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