French Open: Elina Svitolina beats Venus Williams to reach second round


By Jonathan Jurejko

BBC Sport at Roland Garros

Elina Svitolina

Elina Svitolina is a two-time French Open quarter-finalist
2019 French Open
Venue:Roland Garros, ParisDates:26 May-9 June
Coverage:Live text and radio commentary on selected matches on the BBC Sport website and app.

Ukrainian ninth seed Elina Svitolina overcame a tricky first-round draw by beating seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams in straights sets at the French Open.

Both players struggled on serve before Svitolina finished both sets stronger to win 6-3 6-3.

Williams, 38, has not gone past the third round of a Slam since reaching the 2017 US Open semi-finals.

Svitolina will play world number 67 and compatriot Kateryna Kozlova next.

Svitolina missed two match points before sealing victory at the third opportunity when Williams sprayed a backhand into the tramlines.

Williams made 34 unforced errors and Svitolina eventually managed to grind her down.

Svitolina, a two-time Roland Garros quarter-finalist, has seen her season disrupted by a knee injury but her movement appeared to be fine as she won in one hour and 13 minutes.

More to follow.

  • Read: Elina Svitolina’s BBC column
  • Live scores, schedule and results
  • Alerts: Get tennis news sent to your phone

Read More