Elina Svitolina – Anna Blinkova. Forecast for the WTA 250 final in Strasbourg


On Saturday, May 27, the final match of the clay tournament of the WTA 250 series in Strasbourg (France) between the Ukrainian tennis player Elina Svitolina (WTA 508) and the representative of the country 404 Anna Blinkova (WTA 66) will take place. The fight will start no earlier than 16:00 Kyiv time.

Elina Svitolina

The ex-third racket of the world and the former leader of Ukrainian women’s tennis returned to the court on April 3 at a tournament in Charleston. In 2022, Elina announced the suspension of her career due to pregnancy, in October she gave birth to a daughter and went on maternity leave. The first duel after the return of the Ukrainian held on gray ground against Yulia Putintseva. Even then it was clear that the character of the Ukrainian woman had not gone away, but physics needed to be worked on.

She lost that match, and then a series of failures followed. Svitolina also lost in a semi-winning match to Clara Tauson, and missed a victory with Alexandra Ignatik, and could hardly oppose Alexandra Sasnovich in Madrid. Nevertheless, Elina did not give up and continued to believe in her future success. The first breakthrough happened at the WTA 125 tournament in Saint-Malo. There, Elina reached the semi-finals, beating Despina Papamichail, Isalin Bonaventure and Leolia Zhanzhan on her way. The Ukrainian stopped a step away from the final, losing to the experienced Sloane Stevens, who soon won the trophy on those courts.

Then Svitolina went to the thousandth in Rome, which she won twice in her career. One of Elina’s favorite tournaments ended early – already in the 1/64 finals, the eminent Ukrainian lost to her compatriot Lesya Tsurenko. However, there was a struggle (4:6, 3:6), and progress slowly began to be seen.

WTA. Elina Svitolina

Elina came to Strasbourg to prepare for Roland Garros. At the start of the tournament, Svitolina had problems against Louise Chiriko – 6:4, 7:6 (7:1), but the Ukrainian still put the squeeze on the American. Next, Elina was supposed to play against the winner of the match, Kathy Volynets – Elise Mertens, and Svitolina, purely theoretically, could fly out of any of them. But fate smiled at the Ukrainian – both tennis players withdrew from the tournament, and Elina had to play with the boyfriend and lucky loser Erin Rutliff.

But even here Svitolina was lucky, because she did not have to spend extra energy: the representative of New Zealand refused the match. Without a fight, Elina reached the quarterfinals, where she played with Varvara Gracheva. The Ukrainian took the first set and had no problems until the score was 4:1 in the second. But you can’t do without recessions, Grachova won 3 games in a row, and the score became equal. However, Svitolina, not without the help of her character and luck, won the remaining 2 games, closing the Russian.

In the semi-finals, Elina had to play with the local favorite of the public, Clara Burel. The Frenchwoman completely controlled the course of the fight until 4:1 in the second set, winning the first set 6:4 without any problems. Clara threw non-grabbing drop shots, surprised Elina with non-standard shots, but insanely high-quality and smart tennis. Svitolina played exactly Clara’s tennis, in which Burel feels at ease. However, Clara did not manage to play the whole match at a high level, in the 7th game of the second set her serve faltered, and it was time for Svitolina to show why she was the third racket of the world. Elina left at 0:40 in her game, made a break in the 9th, was unable to immediately submit a set, but then won two games in a row and left the game for herself.

WTA. Elina Svitolina

Svitolina completely seized the initiative, began to control the course of the meeting, immediately made a break and took the lead 2:0, 3:1. At 3:2, the Ukrainian gave up the serve, but immediately made a reverse break and no longer gave Burel a chance – 6:3.

After the end of the fight, Svitolina said that the quality of her tennis is still far from being at the highest possible level for her, but the Ukrainian woman’s character is definitely all right, which she herself noted. Elina is well aware that the victory in Strasbourg will give her a new impetus to resume her career. In the final against Blinkova, she will fight for every point, because, perhaps, this will be the match of her life for her, at least for the near future.

It is worth recalling the merits and awards of Elina before she suspended her career. Elina has twice played in the semi-finals of the Grand Slam (Wimbledon 2020 and US Open 2020), and also won the Final tournament in 2018. Two more times, the Ukrainian played in the WTA Finals (2016, 2019), and also won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Elina has 16 wins in WTA finals and only 3 losses. She also has 8 trophies in ITF tournaments and 1 title in the 125-thousander.

Svitolina won her last trophy in August 2021 at a competition in Charleston.

Anna Blinkova

What is the position of the Russian woman regarding the war in Ukraine, which was unleashed by her terrorist country? It is unlikely that we will ever know, because Blinkova is simply silent, which, in principle, many tennis players from the swamps do.

In tennis terms, Anna’s successes have always been covered by more eminent athletes from the Russian Federation. But, after all, she is still the 66th racket of the world with the highest 54th position.

In Strasbourg, Anna beat Amandine Ess, losing the first set 4:6. Then the Russian won against Anna-Lena Friedsam, Emma Navarro and Lauren Davis. Of all the victories, it is probably worth noting only the successful match against Davis, although the American is far from a clay lover. Before the competition in Strasbourg, Blinkova was knocked out in the 1/32 finals of Rome by Ukrainian Angelina Kalinina, losing to our athlete without a chance: 2:6, 2:6. In general, in 2023, Anna can only boast of the semi-finals in Hobart, where she lost to the same Lauren Davis. At all other tournaments, she finished her performances either at the start or in the 2nd round.

WTA. Anna Blinkova

In general, Blinkova is an ordinary average tennis player who can play consistently and who cannot distinguish character, strong serve or confident tennis at the net. Her game is enough to pass rivals at the level of Friedsam, Navarro and so on. Elina, after all, is from a different clip, a different level, plus more experienced.

The Russian woman has one trophy at the WTA 250 level in Cluj-Napoca in 2022, plus a trophy at the 125 thousandth in New Haven and 3 wins at ITF tournaments.

head-to-head statistics

This will be the girls’ first meeting. Before Elina went on maternity leave, Blinkova’s level was clearly not up to the success of the Ukrainian woman.


Svitolina is considered a favorite not only because of her status and past successes. Elina’s game against Burel showed that she is slowly groping for her former form, she can serve well and act competently on the court. Yes, and Svitolina has much more experience than Anna. The struggle will be in any case, but I want to believe in the success of the Ukrainian. In addition, Elina has an additional motivation, and everyone knows what… Forecast: Svitolina’s victory at odds of 1.75.

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2023-05-27 03:59:00

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