PARIS: The former World No.3 Elina Svitolina continued her winning run in the ongoing French Open 2023, defeating No.9 seed Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 7-5(5) to advance into the quarterfinals.
Svitolina will face No.2 Aryna Sabalenka in the quarterfinals.
In the first set, Svitolina raced to a 4-1 lead. Kasatkina settled down after a difficult start in which she made 11 unforced errors in the first five games. She cut the deficit to 4-3 before Svitolina won a tense deuce game and extended her lead to 5-3.
Svitolina earned her first set point after winning a cagey 29-shot baseline rally to close out the first set. Kasatkina made her 17th unforced error of the match as she sent a backhand wide.
Kasatkina had pushed hard in the second set to reduce the difference in their respective levels, but the deft baseliner was frequently unable to deliver on key points. At 3-3 with two break points, Kasatkina hit her third double fault of the day, handing Svitolina a 4-3 lead.
At 5-5, Kasatkina fired a backhand long, her 45th unforced error of the match, giving Svitolina her second match point and the first of the tiebreak. After 1 hour and 56 minutes, Svitolina claim the victory.
“I don’t have that pressure that I used to have before. Of course, me personally, I put pressure for myself because I want to win a Slam. This is the ultimate goal for me,” WTA.com quoted Svitolina as saying.
“But definitely not the pressure from outside. No one expects that I’m going to come into Roland Garros and make the quarterfinal at the beginning of the tournament. That’s why I feel like this really helps me. I feel almost like I’m 17 again coming on the tour fresh. I’m not defending any points. Not here, not next week. Definitely, I feel more free,” she added. (ANI)