Aryna Sabalenka’s Epic Victory Over Elina Svitolina at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome 2024

Aryna Sabalenka, ranked world No. 2, showcased her tennis prowess in a thrilling fourth-round match against Elina Svitolina at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome.

4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7), the world No. 2 won, Tuesday at 12:45 a.m. local time.

Aryna Sabalenka’s Epic Victory Over Elina Svitolina at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome 2024

Is Aryna Sabalenka the reigning drop shot queen?

In her match against Elina Svitolina in the fourth round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, it really appeared like way.

In spite of a rocky beginning, a lower back issue in the middle of the match, and three match points, Sabalenka persevered to win 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7) on Tuesday at roughly 12:45 a.m. local time in Rome. This was the first time the two have faced each other since Sabalenka’s semifinal match at Roland Garros last year.

Sabalenka had to eliminate three break points in the first eight minutes of the match, so she was under pressure right away. The second time, Svitolina broke through. However, she would later forfeit the lead with three straight double faults in the middle of the set, although she quickly recovered to take a 4-3 lead.

The Ukrainian began in a deep return position and pushed her way forward, eventually clocking a 15–40 unreturnable forehand up the line. Following a near-miss with the identical shot on the next point, Sabalenka made her third unforced mistake of the match, which allowed the two-time champion to break.

Two set points came from a masterfully executed drop shot-forehand pass combo. Shortly after, Svitolina’s approach stroke with a forehand slice caused her opponent to mishit a backhand. 22 unintentional errors were Sabalenka’s fault going into the second set.

The two-time Australian Open champion took full advantage of a blank slate, holding from 15 to 30. With a lengthy double fault to give up the game, Svitolina’s service problems reappeared, and Sabalenka took advantage of the opportunity to win four games in a row. In an excellent set from her end of the court, Sabalenka pinned Svitolina behind the baseline with a drop shot that perfectly matched her raw power.

Also Read: The Intense Showdown Between Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka at Mutua Madrid Open 2024

Prior to leveling, Sabalenka experienced a back spasm. She started to slow down her serve and asked chair umpire Jenny Zhang to contact the physiotherapist. Svitolina lost three break points and was unable to take advantage.

After a three-minute medical break, Svitolina served to begin the third set. With Sabalenka down 15–30, the world No. 19 turned her attention to her backhand after observing her turn to employing more slices. Svitolina used a series of returns down the middle to bind Sabalenka’s backhand and break.

It worked for Sabalenka again with the drop shot. Svitolina was unable to get the consolidation she desired after a wonderful change of pace on the backhand side produced a 30–40 and a forehand junk ball that died on landing. Even though the delicate shot was occasionally employed in a desperate attempt, it was crucial to the No. 2 seed’s victory that evening.

Spurred on by the spectators, Sabalenka withdrew by reverting to her classic style of power tennis. She advanced 4-2, with the dropper making another appearance. When Sabalenka served to start the match, Svitolina broke at love to limit the deficit to a single break. After her opponent capitalized on the first six against her serve, Svitolina saved her first break point at 5-5, 30-40.

Aryna Sabalenka’s Epic Victory Over Elina Svitolina at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome 2024

In the twelfth game, Sabalenka went with the drop shot, but Svitolina outplayed her opponent by showcasing her tricks. As she slid up to Sabalenka’s little defensive response, Svitolina fully undercut her backhand into the open court, giving the impression that she had won the match at two match points.

Sabalenka was unable to support her first three mini-breaks in the tie-break. Svitolina held strong during a protracted rally to erase match point following the Belarusian’s backhand crosscourt victory with a forehand finish. After putting enough weight behind her first serve to ward off her third match point, Sabalenka crossed the finish line when her forceful forehand return forced Svitolina to net her final backhand.

Sabalenka made it to the semifinals in 2022 and is now through to the last eight at the Foro Italico for the second time. Jelena Ostapenko, ranked ninth, is up next.

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