By Chris Oddo | Thursday January 5, 2016
Elina Svitolina was the only WTA player to defeat two reigning No.1 players in 2016 and she’s the first to defeat a No.1 in 2017.
The Ukrainian took down Angelique Kerber, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, on Thursday at the Brisbane International, setting up a semifinal with No.3-seeded Karolina Pliskova.
Pliskova came from behind to edge Roberta Vinci, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.
Svitolina, who went 3-3 in deciding sets against the Top-10 last season, broke critically on her fourth opportunity in the 8th game of the final set to take a 5-3 lead over Kerber. She served the match out from there.
“I’m happy that I played a good match—a very solid performance,” she said. “Angie was playing good in the third set so it was very, very tough to stay in the moment but I think I did it but in the end I got the win.”
She added: “I’m really happy the way I finished the third set.”
22-year-old Svitolina is poised to rise to a career-high ranking of 13 after the week, and could go higher.
"At the end it was a good match and I will try to take the positive things for the next matches, of course," Kerber said. The World No.1 will play next week at Sydney. "I'm feeling actually not bad," she said.
In other action at Brisbane, Garbiñe Muguruza took out Svetlana Kuznetsova, 7-5, 6-4, to set up a semifinal with Alizé Cornet.
Cornet defeated Dominika Cibulkova, 6-3, 7-5.