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By Erik Gudris | @atntennis | Sunday, June 4, 2023


Elina Svitolina continued her remarkable comeback by defeating Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 7-6(5) to reach the Roland Garros quarterfinals.

Photo credit: Getty

Elina Svitolina of Ukraine basked in the glow of the last Paris afternoon sunshine as the French crowd chanted her name after her popular fourth round victory at Roland Garros.


The 28-year-old Svitolina overcame No. 9 seed Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-4, 7-6(5) to reach the last eight in Paris for the fourth time in her career and continue her recent win streak stretching back to claiming her 17th career WTA title in Strasbourg a few weeks ago.


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After the win, Svitolina thanked the French crowd, who have adopted her as a countrywoman since she is married to French veteran Gael Monfils, for all of their support.


“I cannot be more thankful for all of your support,” Svitolina said after the match to the crowd. “Now I can feel what Gael was experiencing for all these years, and I’m really thankful all the French people who are supporting me so much.”



The former World No. 3, since her tour return after giving birth to her first child with Monfils, has been a balancing act between motherhood, playing on court, and being outspoken about the ongoing Russia and Ukraine conflict.


Despite holding a 6-0 lifetime head to head against her opponent, Svitolina was forced to battle throughout with Kasatkina in what ended up being a mostly messy, error filled contest.


The match was once again a true contrast of styles with the steady baseline game of Svitolina versus the crafty, all-court game of Kasatkina. Svitolina jumped out to 4-1 lead in the opening set only to have Kasatkina claw back to within a game at 4-3.


Svitolina maintained her advantage in the set and eventually got to 5-4. After winning a lung-busting 29-shot rally, Svitolina held set point. Kasatkina soon sent a backhand wide to hand the set to her opponent 6-4.


Kasatkina, who often hit high looping topspin shots to Svitolina’s backhand, started making inroads in the second set. The Russian soon broke for the first time in the match and found herself with another point to possibly go up 3-0. Yet Kasatkina netted a forehand on the critical point and soon handed back the break.


Serving woes plagued both women throughout with Svitolina at one stage only hitting 39% of first serves. Yet fueled by the crowd, Svitolina a few games later ripped a forehand winner to put herself a game away at 5-3.


Kasatkina held in the next game putting the pressure back on her opponent. Svitolina showed she felt that pressure as she soon held a match point. The next point saw Svitolina attempt a huge passing shot winner only to see it go wide. 


Svitolina sent another backhand wide while down break point and that let Kasatkina back in for 5-all.




Svitolina would get another chance to serve for the match again after breaking for 6-5. Yet poor serving from Svitolina resutled in another break and that sent the set into a tiebreak.


Neither woman could maintain a clear advantage in the breaker until at 5-all, Svitolina won yet another pivotal long rally to give herself a second match point. 


When Kasatkina hit a final groundstroke error, a relieved Svitolina celebrated the straight sets win to the vocal delight of the French crowd.


Svitolina, who because of the ongoing conflict in her country, does not shake hands with any Russian or Belarusian opponent as was the case today. Kasatkina, herself openly critical of the conflict that has earned her praise from Svitolina, gave her opponent a thumbs up after the match.


Svitolina, still in search of a maiden singles major title, will await the winner of the fourth round between Aryna Sabalenka and Sloane Stephens.


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