Brisbane | Svitolina continues to make inroads
Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina continued her impressive start to the season when she demolished Croatian Ana Konjuh 6-3 6-1 to reach the last eight at the Brisbane International warm-up event for Melbourne.
Hopefully I’m improved. I’m trying to work hard and stay focussed on each match, to show my best tennis and challenge myself to go even higher and better Elina Svitolina
The third seed took just 64 minutes to see off Konjuh, striking 17 winners and saving four break points at the Pat Rafter Arena, to book an enticing quarter-final showdown with Britain’s Johanna Konta.
“It was a good match, and I was expecting a tough one against Ana today,” Svitolina said after beating the youngest player ranked inside the WTA’s top 50. “I’m happy with how I handled some of the tough shots she hit today.
“Hopefully I’m improved. I’m trying to work hard and stay focussed on each match, to show my best tennis and challenge myself to go even higher and better,” she said.
She was joined in the final eight by defending champion and second seed Karolina Pliskova, who demolished American Catherine Bellis 6-1 6-1. The Czech will next face former Kaia Kanepi after the Estonian beat Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko 6-4 6-3.
Meanwhile, Aliaksandra Sasnovich sealed a comeback win over Kanepi’s Estonian compatriot Anett Kontaveit. The qualifier from Belarus, who swept aside Kristina Mladenovic in the first round, prevailed 1-6 7-6(2) 6-3 and faces Alize Cornet next.