Elina Svitolina advanced to her second straight major semifinal on Tuesday, claiming the first spot in the US Open final four after downing No. 16 seed Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-4 inside Arthur Ashe Stadium.
In the opening set, Konta and Svitolina traded breaks of serve through the first four games before Svitolina broke first for 3-2. That was the first of three straight breaks of serve in the set, as Svitolina opened up a 4-3 lead, and would go on to serve out the opener.
The second set was nearly identical, with the first break coming Svitolina’s way for a 3-2 lead before Konta broke back and Svitolina broke again for 4-3. After holding, Svitolina held a match point on Konta’s serve, but the Briton did not go down easily and gutted out the hold to force the fifth-seeded Ukrainian to serve out the match.
“I don’t think that I was expecting going into this tournament that I’m going to make semis,” said Svitolina, who reached the Wimbledon semifinals earlier this summer. “I’m just taking one match at a time, not rushing so much on the results or what should have or could have happened…You have to just go out there, do your job and don’t think too much what’s going on around you, and who handle it the best wins.”
While Svitolina’s serve was not nearly as effective as it has been all-tournament long for her, especially in her previous match against American Madison Keys, but she played a cleaner match than Konta. Svitolina had only 13 unforced errors, while Konta hit 35, the final one coming on a sailed backhand long on match point.
“It’s not every day you’re playing [in the] quarterfinal of a Grand Slam,” said Svitolina. “And to win that, it’s something special. Just very happy the way I handled the pressure.”
She now awaits the winner of Tuesday night’s match between eighth-seed Serena Williams and 18th seed Qiang Wang.