Elina Svitolina vs Svetlana Kuznetsova: Rome Masters Preview and Prediction

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina sets up an exciting clash against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the pre-quarterfinals of the Rome Masters. 

After skipping the US Open due to coronavirus concerns, the Ukrainian would have been woefully short of match practice. But, she hit the ground running with a straight-sets win over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. 

On the other hand, the veteran Kuznetsova brought in all her fighting qualities to outlast Bernarda Pera in three sets after losing the first set. Her winning percentage on the first serve was impressive at 91%. 

The Russian started slowly losing the first set against 14th seed Anett Kontaveit in the round of 32. She made a strong comeback to win the next two sets and pocket the match 4-6 7-5 6-3. 

Head to Head record 

Svitolina leads the head to head record 3-1 against Kuznetsova. This is their first meeting on the clay surface. Being a two-time champion at the Italian Open, the Ukrainian knows the conditions inside out. Both the players are quite strong from the baseline and would like to outlast each other in intense rallies. Considering the fact that Svitolina is one of the favourites for the upcoming French Open, the 26-year-old is making all the right moves. Her extended preparation on the red dirt would keep her in good stead. 

On a comeback trail, Kuznetsova has been impressive so far after an early exit in the Istanbul Open against Eugenie Bouchard. 

"It's going to be a very difficult match, she's an amazing player, I'm just going to try to play and to fight," said Kuznetsova ahead of the showdown against Svitolina. Being a two-time finalist in the Italian Open before, the Russian would look to take another shot at the title.

Both players would look to get a strong start after competing after a long break. While Svitolina looks more convincing, Kuznetsova can never be counted out. 

Prediction - Elina Svitolina to win in three sets

Featured image credits: Getty Images

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