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Svitolina vs Bouzkova WTA Guangzhou live streaming, preview and tips - Svitolina continues bid for first title of 2019

Andrew Hendrie in WTA Tour 18 Sep 2019
  • Elina Svitolina vs Marie Bouzkova is live from Guangzhou at 7.00pm local time on Wednesday (12.00pm BST)
  • It's the first career meeting between the pair
Elina Svitolina (PA Images)

Top seed Elina Svitolina continues her Guangzhou Open title quest on Wednesday when she takes on Marie Bouzkova for a place in the quarter-finals.

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Wimbledon and U.S. Open semi-finalist Elina Svitolina targets a spot in the Guangzhou Open quarter-finals on Wednesday when she faces rising Czech player Marie Bouzkova.

Making her debut in Guangzhou this week, Svitolina overcame a slow start in her first round against lucky loser Dalila Jakupovic, recovering from 0-2 down before gradually taking control of the contest, coming away with a 6-3 6-3 victory over the lucky loser. Svitolina’s improvement on serve was noticeable during her run to the U.S. Open semi-finals a few weeks ago, and the Ukrainian was once again firing behind her first delivery, winning 81 per cent of points.

"I had to be very composed with my game plan," Svitolina said afterwards. "It was very humid and hot - I didn't want to spend too long out there, I tried to save some energy after the tough matches in Zhengzhou."

Despite her run to the U.S. Open semi-finals, where she beat Venus Williams, Madison Keys and Johanna Konta before going down to Serena Williams, Svitolina decided to compete in Zhengzhou last week, where she ultimately took part in a pair of energy-sapping three-setters during what was a rain-soaked tournament in the Chinese city. Svitolina defeated Yulia Putintseva in a deciding set tiebreak in her first match, but she couldn’t get the better of Kristina Mladenovic in the quarter-finals, falling 6-4 4-6 6-3.

After becoming a top 10 mainstay over the last three or so seasons, Svitolina experienced a roller-coaster 2018 - but finished it on the highest of highs. She started the season by winning the Brisbane International and successfully defended her titles in Dubai and Rome, but a disappointing French Open loss to Mihaela Buzarnescu seemed to rattle her, with Svitolina going on to lose in the opening round of Wimbledon and the fourth round of the U.S. Open, while she also lost in the first round of Wuhan and Beijing.

Svitolina barely qualified for the season-ending WTA Finals Singapore, but after scraping into the elite eight field, she played her best tennis of the season, posting five top 10 wins on the trot over Petra Kvitova, Karolina Pliskova, Caroline Wozniacki, Kiki Bertens and Sloane Stephens to win the biggest title of her career and ending the year at No. 4 in the world. 2019 has been another year of ups and downs - a knee injury derailed her after Svitolina made the Indian Wells semi-finals, but she’s enjoyed her best ever results at slams, making back-to-back semi-finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open and hit a career-high ranking of No. 3 in the world. However, Svitolina is yet to win a title this season and is in a battle to qualify for the season-ending WTA Finals in Shenzhen, where she is defending a truckload of points. Can she give herself a boost by claiming a maiden title of 2019 this week in Guangzhou?

Marie Bouzkova (PA Images)
Marie Bouzkova stands in her way in the second round. The 21-year-old from the Czech Republic has put together a stellar breakout season on the WTA Tour, improving her ranking from No. 142 at the start of the year to a current mark of No. 63. Bouzkova laid the groundwork for this season by winning her first WTA main draw match in Quebec City in September of last year, kicking off 2019 by successfully qualifying for the Brisbane International main draw and scoring a memorable late-night win over Samantha Stosur in an opening round win that spanned across two days on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

Bouzkova dropped back to ITF level throughout the season to build up more wins, making semi-finals in Istanbul and Monzon, while she also reached the final of the WTA 125k in Guadalajara. After making her top 100 debut courtesy of winning the ITF $80k in Nur Sultan and registering her first Grand Slam main draw victory at Wimbledon over Mona Barthel, Bouzkova went on the best run of her career at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, qualifying for the main draw before conquering three Grand Slam champions in Sloane Stephens, Jelena Ostapenko and Simona Halep on her way to the semi-finals, where she took the opening set against Serena Williams before going down in three. Bouzkova lost in the opening round of the U.S. Open in three sets to Ajla Tomjlanovic, but she got back to winning ways in Guangzhou earlier this week, winning her opening round in three sets over qualifier Xun Fang-Ying.

This will be the first career meeting between the pair, and Bouzkova will fancy her chances in this match-up. The Czech gets a lot of balls back and proved in Toronto that she’s not afraid of top 10 players and has the tools to beat them. Svitolina was a bit tired in Zhengzhou, but looked much better in her opening round match. This should be a much tougher challenge if Bouzkova plays her best, but I’d expect Svitolina to be too solid if she replicates her level from the first round.

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Svitolina vs Bouzkova WTA Guangzhou live streaming, preview and tips - Svitolina continues bid for first title of 2019

Top seed Elina Svitolina continues her Guangzhou Open title quest on Wednesday when she takes on Marie Bouzkova for a place in the quarter-finals.

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