Lesia Tsurenko and Elina Svitolina both recorded wins to give Ukraine a comfortable lead over Australia in the nations' World Group II first round clash in Kharkiv
Elina Svitolina and Lesia Tsurenko give Ukraine a comfortable 2-0 lead over Australia as the curtain falls in Kharkiv after the first day of Fed Cup by BNP Paribas World Group II first round action.
Svitolina and Tsurenko recorded wins over Daria Gavrilova and Ashleigh Barty, respectively, to put the hosts in a sweet position ahead of Sunday’s action that will see a clash between No. 13 Svitolina and No. 26 Gavrilova in the opening rubber at the Palace of Sports ‘Lokomotiv’.
The good news started early for Ukraine as Tsurenko, world No. 54, scored a 62 63 win against her higher-ranked opponent, executing a smart gameplan to extend her head-to-head lead to 4-0 against Gavrilova. Svitolina then completed a superb comeback victory over Barty 46 61 62 in one hour and 46 minutes to seal a perfect day for the home team.
While Tsurenko produced a convincing display to upset the Australia’s No. 1 for this tie, from Gavrilova’s point of view it was a match full of mistakes. The Ukrainian needed just one hour and 15 minutes and dropped just five games en route to giving her nation the lead.
"I’m very pleased with my game today," said Tsurenko. "After the first games, the captain asked me to play deep. Don’t try to hit flat. That was the key. To play deep and wait for the right moment, and stay focused in the point whatever happened."