No.4 seed Elina Svitolina had to battle to make the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday, eventually beating off the challenge of No.32 seed Sorana Cirstea of Romania, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(3).

Svitolina was down 4-2 in the final set but fought back to take the match in a tiebreak.

“It was a very tough match today, and I was fighting and trying to find my game,” Svitolina said. “It was a bit of a rollercoaster.

“I wish I could play a little bit better in the first set, I had chances to grab that set, but unfortunately it didn’t play the way I wanted. I had to fight for every point, and Sorana played a great match, I think. I’m happy that I could win today.”

Cirstea had 45 winners to 42 unforced errors in the match as her aggressive style of play had Svitolina struggling a times.

In the tiebreak Cirstea earned the first break with a backhand winner, but Svitolina then picked up four points in a row to lead 5-2 and didn’t look back.

Meanwhile, Shelby Rogers became the first American to reach the round of 16 at India Wells with a comprehensive 6-0, 6-2 victory over Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu.

Rogers won 91 per cent of points behind her first serve to ease past 61st-ranked Begu and make past the second round for the first time in the Californian desert.


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