Elina Svitolina will never have a better chance of winning her first grand slam as she remains in a draw that has now collapsed on both sides. The Ukranian is the only seed left in the top half of the draw and could make the final by facing two qualifiers. The first of those will be her quarter final opponent Nadia Podoroska, with the winner taking on either Martina Trevisan or Iga Swiatek.
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Podoroska had never won a slam match before this fortnight and now has at least four wins in Paris. The most impressive of those came against Yulia Putintseva, whom she beat in three sets in the second round. The Argentinian has been a tough opponent to beat on clay at ITF level but nobody would have expected that it would translate to the higher levels based on previous performance. She secured her quarter final with a comeback win against Barbara Krejickova.
Svitolina navigated a potentially tricky fourth round match against Caroline Garcia with ease, coming through in straights 6-1 6-3. The third seed had been unusually error prone in previous rounds but there was no sign of that as she handled the Frenchwoman easily. In comparison to Garcia’s 34, Svitolina hit just 14 unforced errors in a solid performance. “I think I did really well today to not focus on what’s happening around,” Svitolina said on the crowd. “They were trying to push [Garcia] to come back into the match, but in the end, I was playing really good tennis. I think being really focused really helped me.”
This will be the biggest match of Podoroska’s career and it will be interesting to see how the qualifier handles the big occasion. She does have a handy clay court game and will pose a completely different problem for Svitolina from the erratic hitting of Garcia in the previous round. There will be pressure on Svitolina, who will seek to vanquish the demons of her last quarter final Paris. She held a hefty lead over Simona Halep in 2017, only to lose their quarter final in three sets.
Prediction – Elina Svitolina in straight sets