Solid as a rock: Elina Svitolina cools off Madison Keys at US Open

Solid as a rock: Elina Svitolina cools off Madison Keys at US Open

The world No. 5 moved into the last eight at Flushing Meadows for the first time after defeating the American, 7-5, 6-4, on Sunday evening.

On a day when the No. 2 (Ashleigh Barty) and No. 3 (Karolina Pliskova) seeds fell, Elina Svitolina could not have asked for a much better performance on Sunday evening at the US Open.

The world No. 5 did not face a break point to cool off Cincinnati champion Madison Keys, 7-5, 6-4, in the fourth round on Arthur Ashe Stadium. As a result, Svitolina moved through to the last eight for the first time at Flushing Meadows and in turn, ended the American’s nine-match winning streak. The victory was extra special for Svitolina, as she delivered a birthday win for boyfriend Gael Monfils, who turned 33. 

“I was trying to really focus on my match but it was extra motivation for me today,” Svitolina told Rennae Stubbs on-court afterwards. “It was really good serving from me. I was feeling very good with my footwork as well. I’m very pleased I could play consistent.”

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Svitolina, who secured her first Top-10 win of the season, is seeking her first title since ending 2018 on a huge high by triumphing at the WTA Finals. At Wimbledon, the 24-year-old contested her first Slam semifinal, losing to eventual champion Simona Halep.

Against Keys, Svitolina came to play with her typical strengths: making a healthy number of returns, running balls down and absorbing pace from a heavier hitter. But her serve was the unexpected star, as she took 35 of 38 points when she made her first serve. Keys managed to strike 32 winners, but also supplied 39 unforced errors. The 2017 finalist couldn’t take advantage of the few windows she had on return to apply pressure.

Svitolina will look to extend her best New York run when she meets No. 16 seed Johanna Konta. The Ukrainian has won all three of their prior meetings, with each occurring on hard courts.

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