Wimbledon 2017 WTA First Round Preview: Ashleigh Barty vs Elina Svitolina

Elina Svitolina could potentially face an early upset as Ashleigh Barty stands in her way for a second round spot in the Wimbledon Championships.
Ashleigh Barty [No.54] vs (4) Elina Svitolina [No.5]

Overview: Elina Svitolina has had an amazing year, but that doesn’t mean her results can translate to the grass. Winning four titles in Taipei City, Dubai, Istanbul and Rome, Svitolina came into the grass swing as one of the in-form players. However the World No.5 has a negative 5-11 record on this surface, and that showed she fell in Birmingham in the second round, losing to Camila Giorgi. It doesn’t get any better for the Ukrainian as she faces a player who excels on the grass, Ashleigh Barty.

Ashleigh Barty’s breakthrough year just keeps getting better and better. She has been excelling in both singles and doubles, having won three doubles titles and reaching the French Open final with partner Casey Dellacqua. In singles, Barty collected a title in Kuala Lumpur. She didn’t do much damage on clay but with a switch of surface to the grass, the Australian immediately made the quarterfinals in Nottingham and reached her first Premier final in Birmingham, falling to Petra Kvitova in three sets. Barty is a dangerous player to play especially on grass and an upset is possibly on the cards here.

Head to head: Svitolina won their previous and only encounter, beating Barty in three sets in Fed Cup.

Stat: In her entire career, Svitolina has only won back-to-back matches on grass once. Meanwhile, Barty has a 27-9 record on this surface.

Thoughts: This is a great chance for Barty to score her first Top 5 win, with Svitolina battling a foot injury and having never done well on this surface. The Ukrainian player will have to have an aggressive mindset in order to fend off Barty’s defences. However, the Australian player has done really well to turn defence into offence with her brutal backhand slide and ventures into the net. If she does all these successfully, Barty could really just make the upset.

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