Other than a head scratching 6-0 second set loss against world No. 178 Renata Zarazua, third-seeded Elina Svitolina has been rock solid in Paris. Twice a Roland Garros quarterfinalist, the Ukrainian has been flying well under the radar. According to the most recent UTR win probabilities, Svitolina sits just behind Petra Maric and Sofia Kenin, but that’s probably just how she likes it. With a weakened field, featuring just three of the world’s Top 10, this could be her best ever chance to capture her maiden major title.
To get there, Svitolina will first have to defeat home-favorite Caroline Garcia, who played her best match in recent memory on Friday against Elise Mertens. After dropping the first set 6-1, Garcia raised her game to the highest level, prevailing 1-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Garcia created sharp angles on her backhand wing, and as soon as Mertens resorted to a defensive slice, the Frenchwoman seized full control.
Her net game was spectacular throughout the match, making the most difficult of volleys look routine.
Garcia’s ball-striking was better than ever. This was her best win since defeating Karolina Pliskova in the 2018 Tianjin final, and while she has given us no reason to expect a repeat performance, if she brings the same level she did against the Belgian, she will have no problem hitting Svitolina clean off the court.
While it’s just her first fourth-round appearance in her last nine tries at the majors, Garcia will head into this matchup with a load of confidence. She owns a 3-1 head-to-head record over Svitolina, and will once again have the full support of the small, yet impactful French crowd.
The Pick: Caroline Garcia