Elina Svitolina makes nervous start at French Open before powering through

Ukrainian fourth seed Elina Svitolina overcame a slow start to sweep past Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5 6-3 and become the first big name to reach the second round of the French Open on Sunday.

The 23-year-old, who won her second consecutive Italian Open title last weekend, made a nervous start on Court Suzanne Lenglen, falling 5-1 down, but battled back and levelled the opening set as Tomljanovic dumped a backhand into the net after a bruising point.

The Australian’s collapse was complete as Svitolina wrapped up the set with six consecutive games.

Svitolina saved a break point in the first game of the second set, and finished off an ultimately comfortable victory on her first match point as Tomljanovic fired wide.

“It was not an easy start and I had to really wake up. I had to step up my game,” Svitolina said.

She will next play either 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone or Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova for a place in the third round.