Brisbane, Australia :Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina believes she can become world number one in 2018 despite a host of challengers for the coveted top ranking. Svitolina, currently ranked sixth in the world, was speaking after an impressive 6-2, 6-4 win over Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro in the first round of the Brisbane International on Monday. The 22-year-old cruised through the first set but was forced to fight harder in the second as Suarez Navarro began to find her range with powerful groundstrokes. But the Spaniard faltered while serving at 4-5 and Svitolina was able to close out the match in just under 90 minutes. Svitolina won five titles in 2017 on her way to a career-high world ranking of number three. She said she had worked hard during the off-season and there was no reason why she could not win a Grand Slam or take the top ranking. Five women held the top spot at various times in 2017 — Serena Williams, Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza and current number one Simona Halep. Svitolina said her ability to raise her game to see off someone as dangerous as Suarez Navarro showed she was also capable of taking the next step.
Orignally published by APP