Brisbane | Svitolina and Konta progress but Kvitova withdraws
On the women’s front at the Brisbane International, world No.6 Elina Svitolina has started well by ousting Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro powering past the Spaniard 6-2 6-4.
Britain’s No1 Jo Konta produced an excellent win over US Open finalist Madison Keys to dispatch the American after two hours, 4-6 6-4 6-3. She recovered impressively from a set down to score her first win in five matches and looks to have put behind her the meltdown she suffered towards the end of last season.
She plays Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round.
Meanwhile, Svitolina, who had an excellent season last year climbing up to No.3 in the rankings by winning five WTA events, is looking to top those rankings.
“Of course this is the goal, but I don’t want to have this pressure,” she said.
“(I just want to) play my best and improve each tournament, each match and be strong mentally – there’s lots of things (I want to achieve), not only being No.1.
“There was some tough moments, was struggling with a few injuries … but I think we’re on the right path.”
Having stormed through qualifying, 2012 Brisbane champion Kaia Kanepi disposed of Daria Kasatkina 6-2 6-2 and will play the winner of Monday night’s match between Ashleigh Barty and Lesia Tsurenko.
However twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has withdrawn with a viral illness, and has been replaced in the draw by lucky loser Heather Watson, who takes on Anett Kontaveit.
“I’m really disappointed to withdraw from the Brisbane International,” Kvitova said. “Unfortunately I picked up a virus on the flight to Australia and I haven’t been able to get healthy in time to play here.
“It’s always a fantastic and competitive place to start the year so I’m sorry not to be in the draw.”