Two of the form players of 2018 will face off to begin the quarter finals with 4th seed Elina Svitolina playing Elise Mertens. Both will be playing in their first Australian Open quarter final while it will be Mertens’ first slam quarter final of any kind. The winner of this will be up against Caroline Wozniacki or Carla Suarez Navarro, who close out the night session on Rod Laver Arena.
Mertens story of missing qualifiers due to her Hobart run last year has been well documented but there was no need for her to be concerned this time round, entering the the tournament while inside the top 40 and winning it this time round. That form has continued into Melbourne, with her exploits so far seeing her easily at a career high regardless of the result here. She has won 8 straight sets this fortnight, the two most recent coming in a close match with Petra Martic. “It’s amazing to be here, I have no words to describe this feeling.” Mertens said. “I believe that I can do it now, I worked really hard to get here and this is really a bonus.”
Meanwhile, Svitolina has been quietly going about her business this tournament and is additionally unbeaten this year like Mertens. She has dropped just 7 games in her past two matches against Marta Kostyuk and Denisa Allertova, dealing with lower level opponents with the minimum of fuss. Mertens will be a step up but the Ukranian is confident her game plan will continue to be a success. “I already mentioned that I don’t really care who is in the other side of the net. I have my plan, what my, you know, what I have to do on court and just, you know, go out there and fight until the last point and just give my best.” she said.
Prediction – Elina Svitolina in three sets