Svitolina makes a flying start at Madrid Open

Madrid: Fourth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine on Saturday started her run at the Madrid Open in an auspicious fashion, defeating Frenchwoman Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-2 in the first round.

During the 71-minute contest, Svitolina managed to break her rival’s serve five times, earning her third win over the French player in their fifth encounter, reports Efe news agency.

World No. 4 Svitolina is seeking her third title in 2018, and is to take on either Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro or the Czech Republic’s Barbora Strycova.

The 23-year-old Svitolina, who won the Brisbane International and the Dubai Tennis Championships earlier this year, failed to advance beyond the second round in her four previous tournament appearances.

Petra Kvitova won her third title of the year as she fought back from a set down to beat Romanian Mihaela Buzarnescu 4-6 6-2 6-3 in the Prague Open final on Saturday.

The Czech second seed got off to a flying start and took a 4-1 lead in the opening set but Buzarnescu battled back to break Kvitova’s dominance, winning the next five games to clinch the set.

Kvitova roared back in front of a raucous home crowd, using her powerful forehand to pin Buzarnescu back in the second set and broke the Romanian’s serve three times to force a decider.

The two-times Wimbledon champion, who was missed the Prague event last year due to a hand injury, maintained her momentum to win her home tournament in her first appearance in it.

The 28-year-old left-hander added to her triumphs in Petersburg and Doha this season.

Buzarnescu fell to a second WTA final defeat after losing out at the Hobart International final to Belgian Elise Mertens.

World No. 10 Kvitova has little time to celebrate as she plays Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko in the Madrid Open first round on Sunday, two weeks before the start of the French Open.