Svitolina advances to US Open semifinals

Published by Reuters

Elina Svitolina celebrates her quarterfinal victory over Johanna Konta, which saw her progress to a first US Open semifinal (Getty Images)
Elina Svitolina beats Johanna Konta in straight sets to reach her first US Open semifinal, where she will face Serena Williams or Wang Qiang.

Elina Svitolina continued her dominant run against Johanna Konta with a 6-4 6-4 win to reach the US Open semifinals for the first time.

The fifth-seeded Ukrainian, who has now won all five of her meetings with the Briton, reached her second straight Grand Slam semifinal after also making the last four at Wimbledon in July.

Svitolina’s sturdy baseline attack wore down the 16th-seeded Konta, who made 35 unforced errors — 22 more than her opponent — on a sun-soaked day at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“It feels amazing,” she said of being the first player to reach the semis at the tournament this year.

“It was a very, very tough match … I think we were both striking the ball. It was quite even. I’m very happy with how I handled the pressure.”

Svitolina rifled a backhand winner on break point for a 4-3 lead in the second set, celebrating with an emphatic fist pump in front of the crowd that included her boyfriend Gael Monfils, who plays his quarterfinal on Wednesday.

Konta continued to fight, however, saving two match points on her serve, but Svitolina ended the contest in the next game when the Briton fired long.

Svitolina said that Frenchman Monfils has been a big help to her during the tournament.

“Definitely we are pushing each other I think because we are trying to join each other in the quarterfinal and now the semifinal … so now he has to step up his game,” she said with a laugh.

Next up for Svitolina is a meeting with either eighth seed Serena Williams or 18th seed Wang Qiang, who play their quarterfinal match later on Tuesday.

Despite the loss, Konta has enjoyed an impressive year at major tournaments, following up her trip to the semifinals of the French Open with quarterfinal finishes at both Wimbledon and the US Open.

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