Elina Svitolina vs Daria Kasatkina live streaming, preview and tips: Can defending WTA Rome champion Svitolina stay unbeaten against Kasatkina?

Hannah Wilks in WTA 17 May 2018
  • Elina Svitolina continues her Internazionali BNL d'Italia title defense against Daria Kasatkina on Thursday
  • Svitolina vs Kasatkina Internazionali  BNL d'Italia tennis is live from Rome on Thursday at 11am local/10am BST
  • Watch and bet on tennis live from Rome at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 
Elina Svitolina (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Elina Svitolina continues her Internazionali BNL d’Italia title defense as she takes on Indian Wells runner-up Daria Kasatkina in the third round on Thursday.

Elina Svitolina vs Daria Kasatkina Internazionali BNL d'Italia tennis is streamed live from Rome on Thursday at 11am local/10am BST (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify). Watch and bet on tennis live from Rome at bet365 > live streaming > tennis

Defending champion Elina Svitolina aims to stay unbeaten against Daria Kasatkina, the Indian Wells runner-up, in the third round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Svitolina is looking to book her place in the quarterfinals of the Premier-5 Internazionali BNL d’Italia for the second time after her superb run to the title in 2017 which saw her beat top-10 players Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza (by retirement) and Simona Halep to claim the title. 

It was the second of three Premier-5 titles Svitolina would win in 2017 – Dubai, Rome and Toronto, along with International-level titles in Taipei City and Istanbul – and along with her quarterfinal finish at the French Open, where she held a commanding lead over Halep and looked on the brink of reaching her first Grand Slam semifinal, confirmed the Ukrainian player as a formidable threat on both hard courts and clay. Less subjectively, Svitolina’s triumph at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia would also see her break into the top 10 and the Ukrainian would rise as high as world no. 3 in before the end of 2017 – heady stuff for a player who has never been past the quarterfinals of a major.

Svitolina still hasn’t been past the quarterfinals of a major, but she did prove she could go that far somewhere other than Roland Garros when she made the final eight at the Australian Open in January, and she might have made the semifinals there had she not struggled with injury that hampered her in a disappointing straight-sets defeat to Elise Mertens. The Ukrainian also picked up a Premier title in the very first week of the season at the Brisbane International, and successfully defended her Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title, beating Daria Kasatkina – her opponent in Thursday’s round of 16 clash – in the final.

Since Dubai, however, things haven’t been so impressive for Svitolina. A quarterfinalist in Miami and Stuttgart, where she lost to Jelena Ostapenko and Caroline Garcia respectively, the Ukrainian has suffered two slightly disappointing defeats to Carla Suarez Navarro at Premier Mandatory events – at Indian Wells and Madrid – which feel particularly damaging because Suarez Navarro is precisely the sort of classy but not heavily weaponized player you would expect Svitolina to be able to beat. In both cases, as well, Svitolina had started the tournament brightly – ending Naomi Osaka’s winning streak in straight sets in Miami, beating Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-2 in Madrid - before losing her way against Suarez Navarro.

Svitolina has definitely started her Rome title brightly with a virtual demolition of Petra Martic 6-1, 6-2 in the second round on Tuesday. I thought Martic, who has been racing up through the rankings since reviving her career after injury, would be a tricky match for Svitolina, but the Ukrainian was completely in charge from start to finish in a late-night match on Centrale, hitting 24 winners as she recorded a 61-minute victory.

Can Svitolina keep up that kind of form against Daria Kasatkina in the third round – and can Kasatkina find her own form in Rome?


Daria Kasatkina (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Currently ranked world no. 13, Kasatkina hit her career-high ranking of world no. 11 so far after she reached the final of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, beating Sloane Stephens, Caroline Wozniacki, Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams on the way. It was a dazzling run, which followed a semifinal appearance at the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy and a runner-up finish to Svitolina in Dubai, and on the strength of it, the Russian player started to be talked about as a potential French Open contender. 

But Kasatkina has struggled a bit since then with those increased expectations, perhaps her own most of all. She came back down to earth with a bump after losing to Naomi Osaka in the Indian Wells final when she was unceremoniously ousted from Miami by Sofia Kenin, and her title defense at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston was ended by Julia Goerges in the quarterfinals. First-round defeats in Stuttgart and Prague – the latter to world no. 144 Jasmine Paolini, a lucky loser – followed, and while Kasatkina had a better run in Madrid last week, beating Wang Qiang, Sorana Cirstea and third seed Garbine Muguruza to make the quarterfinals, she didn’t respond at all well to being outplayed by Petra Kvitova, making little effort in the second round as she went down 4-6, 0-6.

Kasatkina has booked her place in the round of 16 in Rome by beating a pair of qualifiers, Ajla Tomljanovic and Danielle Collins, dropping just four and five games respectively – but in Svitolina, she faces a player who is several orders of magnitude tougher, especially on this surface, especially at this tournament. Svitolina has won all three of her previous matches against Kasatkina, and those matches have also been becoming more one-sided – Kasatkina took a set in their first meeting in New Haven in 2016, but only got four games in Dubai earlier this year. I attribute a lot of that to Svitolina’s more aggressive approach and improved forehand and transition game over the past 18 months – and it’s a difficult proposition for the Russian, who can’t grind Svitolina down from the back of the court but will have to play with an uncomfortable degree of straightforward aggression to get this win. It looks like the defending champion will be booking her place in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia quarterfinals once again.


Svitolina vs Kasatkina Internazionali BNL d’Italia tennis is live from Rome on Thursday at 11am local/10am BST. Watch and bet on the match live at bet365 > live streaming > tennis > Elina Svitolina vs Daria Kasatkina (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify) 


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Elina Svitolina vs Daria Kasatkina live streaming, preview and tips: Can defending WTA Rome champion Svitolina stay unbeaten against Kasatkina?

Elina Svitolina vs Daria Kasatkina live streaming, preview and tips for the WTA Rome Internazionali BNL d’Italia third-round match on Thursday 17 May 2018: Defending champion Svitolina takes on Indian Wells runner-up Kasatkina for a place in the quarterfinals. We preview the match and show you how you can watch the match live and bet in-play.

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