Elina Svitloina struck another tennis blow for her native Ukraine with a second straight defeat of Victoria Azarenka to reach the second round at the WTA Washington hardcourt tournament.

Defeat of her opponent from Belarus followed a similar result last month in the Wimbledon fourth round. The win in just under two hours puts Svitolina into a match with Russian Daria Kasatkina.

The 7-6 (2), 6-4 win over Azarenka ended without a handshake as announced, since Ukrainian players have been refusing to acknowledge opponents from invading country Russia and ally Belarus.

Svitolina leads Kasatkina 7-0, which includes a win at Roland Garros this spring.

“It was really up and down,” Svitolina, who became a mother last autumn, said. “I just had to try to focus on every point, try to find my game again.

Defeat for two-time Australian Open winner Azarenka came on her 34th birthday and was her second loss in a row in the series in which she won the first five meetings.

Svitolina was back on a hardcourt for the first time since March, 2022, when she lost an opening match in Miami to Brit Heather Watson.