NEW YORK – At a time when the women's game is overloaded with big hitters who tear down the ball and wipe out their opponents with sheer force and strength, Elina Svitolina is refreshed. Her game is about depth and feel, consistency and continuity, variety and control of the ball. She considers her way through matches, hassle-free exploration, finding holes in her opponents' arsenal, making the most of her wide range of strengths.
In seven previous US Open appearances, Svitolina had never advanced beyond the fourth round. She had also not reached the semifinals of any major tournament before Wimbledon earlier in the summer. But now she is starting to believe more on great occasions. On Tuesday, the No. 5 seed dropped the No. 1
In various ways, Svitolina invited Kant to defeat himself. Svitolina changed her modest pace, changed her speeds and spins, relocated her service and sent some of her returns intentionally short and low while driving others with extraordinary depth. The guilt of her game was the main reason she left Comte so comprehensive.
To be sure, despite his career record against Svitolina 0-4, Comte approached this contest in a reasonably good frame of mind after coming back to eliminating Carolina Pliskova in three sets, meeting from round to 16. Conta beat Pliskova only once and she played one of her best games of the 2019 season to prevail in this battle at the Louis Armstrong Stadium.
But 24-year-old Svitolina is a completely different player from Pliskova. Its protection is superb. Her court coverage is definitely better. Its judicial meaning is beyond reproach. Within the board, Svitolina is a player that Conta will always find difficult to beat.
The match starts predictably, with four straight detentions on service. Then Svitolina stubbornly continued into the fifth game of Comte's service. After two doubles, Conta pressed, pushing the backhand down the line. At his second break point, Svitolina turned, coming from the foreground and pressing Konta into a backhand error. This breakthrough gave Svetolina the lead with 3-2. She had a few points to go with 4-2, but Conta rallied for 3-3 with one of her best return games of the day.
This rally did not continue. Although Conta poured five consecutive first innings in the seventh game, she earned only one point. Svitolina opened and closed this chapter with backhanded passing winners, regaining the lead, taking a 4-3 lead, giving nothing back and repeatedly maintaining Kant's balance. A breakthrough point in the eighth game, Svitolina served an ace down the T, then stepped forward to provoke a passing foul. Conta followed with a mistake in returning the service and so Svitolina went to 5-3. Serving for a set two games later, Svitolina had to work hard. Konta saved the set point with a sparkling backhand winner, but still Svitolina took the next two points from the errant backhand from Conta.
The first set was 6-4 in Svitolina, and then the second set unfolded identically. Both women held on easily for 2-2, but then Svitolina again made a tempting move. An excellent return opened the avenue for a forehand winner behind Comte, and the British racer made the next mistake by taking the forehand wide. Svitolina was a set and a break. She had two game points for 4-2, but Comte retreated 3-3 with a magnificent forehand forehand.
As it was in the opening set, Svitolina did not dwell on this disappointment. She fell in love with the seventh backhand match, the winner of the shot down the line. Soon Svitolina was held. She was ahead 5-3. Kant persistently rejected two match points against her in the ninth game, forcing Svitolina to serve the match. The No. 5 seed missed the first point of the tenth game, but went on to win four in a row. In an hour and forty minutes she went into straight sets for a remarkable moment in her career.
Svitolina made only 13 unexpected errors, while Conta was 35. This was the central factor for Svitolina's victory. She played aggressively enough, but did not venture into reckless territory.
Putting everything into perspective after the match, Svitolina said, "I think I've been going step by step throughout my career. I was going very slowly. Still, I was pretty consistent, I would say, but I had some tough matches in the round of 16 and the quarterfinals before I started winning them. I think sometimes it is a difficult and painful loss, but I think I have been fueled by this confidence. Maybe he helped me in some games. "
Svitolina admitted that she did not expect to find a place in the open-air semifinals on the eve of the event.
" I don't think I expected to enter a tournament that I will do half-time, "she said." one by one, I don't rush so much from the results or what should or could happen.
"This is the Grand Slam. There is a lot of pressure, a lot of expectations from people, probably from the media. But you also put a lot of pressure on yourself. You just have to go out there, do your job, and not think too much about what's going on.
Svitolina was asked about a potential semifinal against Serena Williams: "It's a great challenge to play against her. I mean, it doesn't really matter who I go to play in the semifinals. It's a challenge. "
Svitolina depends on that challenge, the demon d the best of you, and be fully prepared for your semifinal semifinal. This is a moment where she has to move beyond herself to territory that has never before It's time for Svitolina to think about winning one of her specialties, so why not make a break here in New York?
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