Carla Suarez Navarro beats Elina Svitolina in Indian Wells to stop a long losing streak against top 10 players
Number 27 seed Carla Suarez Navarro upset number 4 seed and this year’s Brisbane and Doha champion Elina Svitolina 7-5 6-3 in 1 hour and 29 minutes to reach the fourth round at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and claim her biggest win in almost two years. The Spanish player scored her third win in their sixth head-to-head matches.
Suarez Navarro had lost 12 consecutive matches against top 10 rivals since the summer of 2016.
The Spanish player converted three of her six break points and dropped her serve from the three break points she faced. She saved two of these opportunities in the opening game and broke serve in the sixth game with a deep return. Svitolina broke back in the seventh game with a forehand winner. The next games went on serve until the 12th game when Svitolina served to stay in the set. Suarez Navarro earned the crucial break in the 12th game with a forehand winner to close out the first set 7-5 in 50 minutes.
In the second set both players held their service games until the sixth game when Suarez Navarro got the only break of serve at 3-2, as Svitolina made a volley error. The Spanish player did not face any break points in her next service games and wrapped up the match with a service winner in the ninth game to reach the Round of 16.
“I am really happy with the way I played. It was a really tough match with a lot of intensity and long rallies. It was tough for me. I was really focused on my game”, said Suarez Navarro.
Suarez Navarro will face two-time NCAA champion and former University of Virginia player Danielle Collins beat Russia’s Sofya Zhuk 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 35 minutes. The US player fended off six of the eight break points she faced and converted four of her seven opportunities.
After a trade of breaks at the start of the match Collins broke again in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Zhuk wasted four break points in the eighth game. Collins held serve in the 10th game with a forehand winner at the net to seal the first set.
Collins broke serve at the start of the second set after a poor volley from Zhuk. The Russian player faced two more breaks in the third game but she saved them. Zhuk broke back in the fourth game to draw level to 2-2. Collins broke serve at love in the seventh game with a deep return and fended off two break points in the eighth game to open up a 5-3 lead. Zhuk fended off a match point in the ninth game but Collins converted her second chance a few minutes later with a service winner to score the biggest win of her career.