A determined Elina Svitolina ended her long-time jinx against former Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova on Sunday, cruising to a straight sets win at the WTA Finals in Singapore.
The world number six triumphed 6-3, 6-3 in just 89 minutes in the tournament opener, easily overcoming a lacklustre Kvitova, who had 29 unforced errors and seven double faults.
Before Sunday Svitolina had won just one set in seven straight harrowing defeats to the Czech but turned the tables to issue a warning to her rivals in White Group.
“I’m very pleased with the performance,” Svitolina said after the match.
“I had to really stay focused and be strong mentality. She strikes the ball pretty hard and I had to react quickly and move my feet.”
Svitolina, who only qualified for the season-ending tournament last week, started quickly to capture a break in the opening game.
Kvitova’s trademark firepower moved Svitolina around the hard court but the Ukrainian’s defence was up to the task.
A composed Svitolina made just four unforced errors in the opening set in a notable contrast to her error-riddled opponent, who struggled badly on serve and conceded the first set after her fifth double-fault.
Kvitova, who has a tour-leading five titles this year, lifted in a desperate attempt to get back into the match but was unable to convert three break points in a pivotal third game of the second set.
Svitolina broke in the sixth game and held her nerve to claim just her second victory against Kvitova from nine meetings.
The 24-year-old is playing in her second successive WTA Finals, while former winner Kvitova qualified for the first time since 2015.