World No. 5 Elina Svitolina held six match points at the Mutua Madrid Open on Thursday. Jil Teichmann saved them all, before closing out a stunning 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5) comeback in their first-round encounter.
Svitolina, who opened a 5-1 lead in the deciding set, held her first four match points in the eighth game. Here’s how Teichmann wiped away each to reach 3-5:
1. The Swiss won a 10-shot rally when Svitolina’s forehand sailed long.
2. Teichmann had to dig in for another extended exchange immediately after. On the 11th shot, she pulled off this sensational backhand dropper.
3. A body serve two points later was enough to draw a return error off the Ukrainian’s racquet.
4. Then, Svitolina missed another backhand return—this time off a second serve.
With her sizable lead gone, Svitolina still had two more opportunities with Teichmann serving at 5-6, 15-40. In both instances, Teichmann stepped up to the plate.
5. The next match point was erased thanks to a deep first strike that enabled Teichmann to finish with a short-court forehand drive volley.
6. Svitolina’s final match point may have been her best opportunity at avoiding the collapse.
Putting Teichmann on the defensive, the No. 4 seed opened up the court with a backhand up the line, but didn’t put enough weight or direction behind it. After Teichmann countered with a terrific deep backhand crosscourt, Svitolina directed her next reply to the same corner. Teichmann then ended with rally with a convincing backhand.
With the victory, Teichmann avenged last September's quarterfinal loss in Strasbourg, where Svitolina went on to lift the trophy. In the second round, Teichmann takes on home favorite Paula Badosa. The Spaniard defeated Barbora Krejcikova, 6-1, 7-5.
Svitolina dropped to 3-7 lifetime in Madrid. She'll look ahead to the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, where she is a two-time former champion.