Holder Svitolina off the mark in Malaysia as seeds fall

By Iain Strachan 28 February 2017 197
Holder Svitolina off the mark in Malaysia as seeds fall

Defending champion Elina Svitolina eased into the second round of the Malaysian Open on Tuesday, but Carla Suarez Navarro and Caroline Garcia made surprise early exits.

Svitolina, who defeated Eugenie Bouchard in last year's final, overcame South Korean qualifier Jang Su-jeong 6-2 6-3 on outdoor hard courts at the WTA International event.

The Ukrainian, who was broken just once to wrap things up in an hour and 26 minutes, will face Nao Hibino for a spot in the quarter-finals, as the number one seed seeks to continue the good form that saw her defeat Caroline Wozniacki in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

It was a different story for the other top seeds, as Anna Kalinskaya of Russia accounted for Garcia, beating the French third seed 7-5 6-2.

Kalinskaya's fellow qualifier Miyu Kato of Japan came from a set down to upset second seed Suarez Navarro 2-6 6-1 6-3.

Chinese pair Peng Shuai and Wang Qiang, seeded fourth and sixth respectively, registered straight-sets victories and were joined in the second round by Sabina Sharipova, Magda Linette and Han Xinyun. 

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Iain Strachan