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Svitolina vs Hon tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Hong Kong top seed Svitolina tries to snap three-match losing streak

Hannah Wilks in WTA Tour 8 Oct 2018
  • Elina Svitolina faces wildcard Priscilla Hon at the Hong Kong Open
  • Svitolina vs Hon is live from Hong Kong on Tuesday at 9pm local/2pm BST
Elina Svitolina (KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

In a fight to qualify for the WTA Finals Singapore, top seed Elina Svitolina begins her Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open campaign against wildcard Priscilla Hon.

Elina Svitolina tries to snap a three-match losing streak as the world no. 5 faces Priscilla Hon at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open. 

Although she is ranked world no. 5, Svitolina is only on seventh place on the Porsche Race to Singapore with five players qualified, and finds herself in a bit of a scrap for one of the remaining three places. As things stand now, those three places should go to Sloane Stephens, Svitolina and Karolina Pliskova, but Kiki Bertens is just ten points behind Pliskova (and 140 points behind Svitolina), while Aryna Sabalenka is also in with a slim chance.

Elina Svitolina (Photo by kena betancur / AFP) 
Pliskova, Bertens and Sabalenka are all in action this week with Pliskova and Sabalenka playing in Tianjin and Bertens in Linz, so scenarios are likely to evolve day by day when it comes to Singapore qualification. But Svitolina really doesn’t want to lose early in Hong Kong – and she’s been developing a bit of a habit of early losses lately.

The first half of the season went so well for the Ukrainian, who immediately went about backing up the very impressive 2017 season which saw her win five titles – three at Premier-5 level – by claiming the Brisbane International crown, reaching her second Grand Slam quarterfinal at the Australian Open and successfully defending her Dubai and Rome titles. But it all started to go wrong at the French Open. Svitolina was considered a dark horse to win and instead, she suffered a surprise defeat to Mihaela Buzarnescu in the third round. A first-round defeat at Wimbledon to Tatjana Maria followed, and Svitolina’s Rogers Cup title defense was ended in the semifinals by Sloane Stephens in straight sets. She made the round of 16 at the US Open, but was ousted by Anastasija Sevastova, and went on to lose her opening matches in both Wuhan and Beijing to Aryna Sabalenka – very understandable – and Aleksandra Krunic, perhaps less so. She had bagelled Krunic in the first set before losing in a third-set tie-break. 

It's a long season and players do waver, and it’s also very possible that Svitolina as she has suggested went a bit too far and lost too much muscle in her quest for fitness. Certainly the Ukrainian has still had a great season and recent results shouldn’t obscure that. On the other hand, she badly needs to win a match or two in Hong Kong – not just to hopefully secure qualification for Singapore, but to give her some confidence to build on when she gets there. 

Svitolina made her debut in Hong Kong last year when she beat Zarina Diyas in the first round, but then gave a walkover to Nicole Gibbs in the second. Will it go better this time?

Priscilla Hon (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images for LTA)
First up for the top seed is Australian wildcard Priscilla Hon.

The 20-year-old Hon was ranked as high as world no. 13 as a junior and hit a career-high ranking of world no. 162 in July of this year. Hon ended last year on a strong note after successfully qualifying for WTA International events in Hong Kong and Seoul – where she reached the quarterfinals – and the WTA 125k in Taipei, where she lost to Belinda Bencic in the second round. 

Those results carried her to just outside the top 200, and Hon broke into it for the first time after beating Yanina Wickmayer to reach the final round of qualifying for the Australian Open, although she was unable to make her main-draw debut. The rest of Hon’s season has been divided between ITF events and qualifying for WTA events, with her best result at ITF level a semifinal finish at the Surbiton $100k. 

Hon lost in qualifying for the first 11 (!) WTA events which she attempted, but finally succeeded in reaching a main draw in Hiroshima, where she lost in the first round to Wang Qiang in three sets. The Australian also qualified successfully for Seoul the following week where she made the second round, coming into Hong Kong ranked world no. 183.

Unsurprisingly, Svitolina and Hon have never played (they don’t exactly move in the same circles, tennistically speaking) and this match will mark just the second time that Hon has played someone ranked inside the top 50, the first time having come a few weeks ago against Wang. All in all, this looks like a great opportunity for Svitolina to snap her losing streak and remind everybody she’s still a contender, not just to reach Singapore but to do well there, by making the second round in Hong Kong. 

Svitolina vs Hon Hong Kong Open first-round tennis is live from Hong Kong on Tuesday at 9pm local/2pm BST

*Geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify

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Svitolina vs Hon tennis live streaming, preview and predictions – Hong Kong top seed Svitolina tries to snap three-match losing streak

Elina Svitolina vs Priscilla Hon live streaming, preview and predictions for the Hong Kong Open first-round match on Tuesday 9 October 2018: World no. 5 Svitolina, trying to protect her Singapore spot, opens Hong Kong campaign against wildcard Hon

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