Svitolina storms to Brisbane title

Elina Svitolina

Elina Svitolina captured the Brisbane International on Saturday after demolishing qualifier Aliaksandra Sasnovich in straight sets.

The World No 6 from Ukraine needed just over an hour to complete a dominant 6-2, 6-1 victory and secure the first WTA title of 2018.

It’s the first Premier-level title of Svitolina’s career, after she won three Premier 5 titles in 2017.

“It was a tough, tough offseason,” Svitolina said, on court after the match. “To start with a trophy is always very, very special.”

The match was one-way traffic from start to finish, with Svitolina dropping just four points on her first serve and never facing a break point.

“There is not only on serve that I’m working on. There’s lots of things,” Svitolina said. “To be a good, consistent player you have to work on everything and to be really confident with all the parts of your game. Of course, the serve is one of them because you can get free points off that.

“It was very important to use what I was working on during the offseason, and it was working. One match at a time, I was improving in some parts. I was playing better and better and, you know, serve worked really good during this week.”

Afterwards, a disappointed Sasnovich apologised to the crowd for not putting up more of a fight, although getting to the final was still an impressive achievement for the World No 88.

“Sorry for my play today,” she said. “It was an incredible week for Elina – she was better than me and deserved to win. It was a good week for me.”

Meanwhile in China, World No 1 Simona Halep started her year with a bang as she defeated Katerina Siniakova 6-1, 2-6, 6-0 to win the Shenzhen Open.

The final was moved indoors after repeated rain delays and began six hours after its scheduled start time, but Halep was able to overcome those distractions and clinch her second Shenzhen title.