Elina Svitolina survives thriller battle with Sorana Cirstea in Indian Wells

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina moves on at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells after a big battle with Sorana Cirstea that ended with the Ukrainian winning 4-6 6-4 7-6(3).

It was an excellent battle between Svitolina and Cirstea with the Romanian playing one of her better matches of the year. Svitolina who usually is better in slower conditions than her opponent struggled early but found some inspiration late to back and win the match. The first set was a huge missed opportunity by Elina who was up a break twice.

Each time she allowed her opponent to come back and tie it up with a late collapse giving Cirstea the 6-4 win. Svitolina was attacked on her 2nd serve and she was not able to handle the aggression winning only 5 of 19 2nd serve points. The 2nd set was much better by Svitolina and she needed it badly as Cirstea played very well as well.

Elina took an early break giving herself a 3-1 lead but Cirstea continued playing her game. The Romanian would have a chance to break back twice including 3 break points when Svitolina served for the set at 5-4 but she failed to use it. Those were costly mistakes that she should have taken. Another costly mistake was the throwing away of a 4-2 lead in the final set.

Cirstea was up 4-2 and it seemed like she would be able to pull out the huge upset. Unfortunately for her Svitolina found some late match heroics to make it 4-4. In the end, it was settled in the tiebreak and the more experienced Svitolina proved calmer winning it 7-3.

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