Svitolina makes winning start in Connecticut, Mladenovic ousted

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Fresh from her quarter-final run at the Olympic Games, Elina Svitolina reached the second round of the Connecticut Open.

Svitolina upstaged world number one and 22-time grand-slam champion Serena Williams at Rio 2016 and the Ukrainian 10th seed continued where she left off in New Haven, outlasting Daria Kasatkina in three sets.

Shelby Rogers also won her opening-round match, surprising Kristina Mladenovic in straight sets, while Ekaterina Makarova accounted for Sara Errani in two.

Caroline Garcia will return on Monday to complete her match against Irina-Camelia Begu after rain suspended play late in the day.

 

SVITOLINA OUTLASTS KASATKINA

The 21-year-old sent shockwaves through Rio when she eliminated defending champion Williams in the third round and she made a winning start in Connecticut on Sunday, defeating Kasatkina 6-4 5-7 6-0.

Svitolina did not have it all her own way against the Russian teenager, dropping the second set, but she pulled away in the decider after more than two hours on court.

Next up for Svitolina is either Evgeniya Rodina or Maria Sakkari.

 

MAKAROVA AND ROGERS BOOK SECOND-ROUND BERTHS

Russia's Makarova produced a serving masterclass to eliminate Errani 7-5 6-2.

In a match lasting one hour, 24 minutes, Makarova fired down seven aces, while winning 75 per cent of her first-service points.

Makarova also converted five of eight break points, fending off two of her own against Errani.

American wildcard Rogers barely raised a sweat in her crushing 6-1 6-1 defeat of Mladenovic.

Rogers was not broken by the Frenchwoman, breaking five times en route to the second round.

 

GARCIA ON THE CUSP OF VICTORY

France's Garcia is a game away from reaching the second round.

Rain forced the suspension of play late on Sunday, with Garcia leading Begu 6-1 5-4.

Garcia will return to the court on Monday to try and close out the match.

 

PLISKOVA HEADLINES WITHDRAWALS

Western and Southern Open champion Karolina Pliskova will not compete in New Haven.

After halting Angelique Kerber's bid to claim the WTA's top ranking in Sunday's Cincinnati final - triumphing 6-3 6-1 - eighth-seeded Czech Pliskova then pulled out of the Connecticut Open, citing a lower back problem.

Madison Keys - the third seed - also withdrew from the tournament after injuring her neck during a practice session on Sunday, replaced by Camila Giorgi.

 

DEFENDING CHAMP KVITOVA IN ACTION

Petra Kvitova's bid for a New Haven three-peat and fourth title in total gets underway against Louisa Chirico on Monday. Four-time champion Caroline Wozniacki faces Jelena Ostapenko, while Canadian favourite Eugenie Bouchard meets Annika Beck.