Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina powered past the daunting 100-plus degree heat and an in-form Tatjana Maria to reach the U.S. Open third round on Wednesday, winning 6-2, 6-3 in less than 60 minutes in Louis Armstrong Stadium.
“I am very happy with the way I played,” said Svitolina. “Conditioning is key, and I am happy with my fitness.”
A major point of emphasis for the players in the last two days was coming out strong early on in the match to avoid spending any extra time on the court in the heat. Svitolina had some extra motivation on her side as well, as she avenged a first round upset to Maria a few months back at Wimbledon.
The seventh seed Svitolina hit an efficient 24 winners and 19 unforced errors, and now sets up a match up with the winner of the match between Qiang Wang and Irina-Cameila Begu who player later on Wednesday.
Two-time finalist Victoria Azarenka also made sure to get off of the court in quick fashion as she rolled past 25th-seeded Australian Daria Gavrilova, 6-1, 6-2.
Azarenka, who reached the finals in Flushing Meadows in 2012 and 2013, never took her foot off of the gas pedal on Wednesday as she pounced all over the Aussie’s serve, setting up 16 break points in just under 90 minutes, converting on seven of them.
She moves on to face the winner of the match between defending U.S. Open champion and third-seeded Sloane Stephens and Anhelina Kalinina.
The number 15 seed from Belgium, Elise Mertens, continued her run as she cruised into the third round with a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Vera Lapko.
Other early results from Wednesday included 19th seed Anastasija Sevastovoa knocking off American Claire Liu, 6-3, 6-1, and Barbora Strycova’s 6-0, 6-1 win over Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena.
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.