Elina Svitolina looks to return to the French Open quarter-final for the first time since 2017 on Sunday, where a win against Caroline Garcia would book her spot in the last 8. The winner of this one should be the favourite in the quarter finals too with Nadia Podoroska and Barbara Krejickova far less decorated players.
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Garcia is in the fourth round in Paris for the third time in four years after an impressive three set win against Elise Mertens on Friday. Her power game saw her make it as high as No.4 in the WTA rankings but she struggled to build on and maintain the consistency she showed in 2018. She is still dangerous on her day as she showed with her US Open victory against Karolina Pliskova, knocking out the Czech in straight sets.
Strasbourg champion Svitolina added another win to her streak on Friday, beating Ekaterina Alexandrova in straight sets. The No.3 seed had started quick in her first two victories but this one was much tighter, breaking at the end of both sets for a 6-4 7-5 win. It was a surprisingly erratic performance the usually solid Svitolina, hitting 30 unforced errors to just 8 winners. “It was not an easy match. Going into the match, I knew that she would strike the ball really hard and flat, so I really had to adjust quickly with my feet,” Svitolina said on-court after the match. “It was very important to just stay focused for every single point, try to dig deep and run for every single ball.”
Svitolina is going to need to up her level to avoid getting caught out by an improving Garcia. The conditions look to be suiting Garcia’s game with the Frenchwoman offering a bit more than just raw power. The 1-3 head to head for Svitolina doesn’t make for good reading, especially with her winning the first set in all three of these losses. If Garcia can maintain her level across three sets she has a chance of pulling off the upset here otherwise Svitolina should tough out the win here.
Prediction – Svitolina in three sets