Elina Svitolina won her first tour-level match since her return from maternity leave, defeating Louisa Chirico 6-4, 7-6 (1) in the first round at the Internationaux de Strasbourg in France on Sunday.
The 2020 champion here, Svitolina was a wild-card entrant into the tournament. She took a year off, from April 2022 to April 2023, and gave birth to daughter Skai with husband Gael Monfils last October. She lost in the first round at both Miami and Charleston this spring, then entered lower-level tournaments ahead of Strasbourg.
Svitolina, a 28-year-old from Ukraine, converted six of 11 break opportunities and saved 10 of 15 on her serve. With 16 career titles, she was ranked No. 4 in the world as recently as 2021.
In other action, No. 8 seed Jil Teichmann of Switzerland came from a set down to defeat Maryna Zanevska of Belgium 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. Zanevska’s eight aces were negated by her eight double faults in the 2-hour, 35-minute match.
In other action, Kaia Kanepi of Estonia topped China’s Xinyu Wang 6-2, 6-2, Russian Anna Blinkova saved off Amandine Hesse of France 4-6, 6-0, 6-4, and Selena Janicijevic outlasted Oceane Dodin 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 in an all-French match.
–Field Level Media