Wimbledon 2019: Elina Svitolina advances to first-ever Major semifinal with comfortable win over Karolina Muchova
Both players were featuring in their first Wimbledon quarterfinal. While Svitolina saw off Petra Martic with relative ease, Muchova sealed her berth in the quarterfinal with a marathon three-set victory over Karolina Pliskova.
The two broke one another to begin the match, but Muchova seemed much more comfortable at the start, charging to the net often and finishing points early. She captured another break to take a 3-1 lead and then consolidated with an easy hold.
Both players looked strong on serve and soon enough Muchova found herself serving for the set at 5-3.
However, uncharacteristic errors allowed Svitolina back into the set and she capitalised, breaking to 15 and holding to draw level.
Svitolina then battled hard in the 11th game as she tried to sneak another break. In a game that consisted of 19 points, the Ukrainian converted on her fifth break opportunity to take a 6-5 lead in the set.
The 24-year-old comfortably brought up two set points and converted, taking the opening set in just under 50 minutes.
Muchova needed to re-focus and she did that well, holding to open the second set. Svitolina began committing some uncharacteristic errors, handing the Czech an early break. However, Svitolina hit back strongly, breaking immediately and then saving a couple of break points to draw level.
Another break in the fifth game put Svitolina ahead for the first time in the set. Muchova began tiring and she lost some of the explosiveness in her feet. Showing serious fatigue, the Czech conceded another break to go down 5-2.
Svitolina stepped up to serve for the match, but made a mess of it, handing one break back. The 22-year-old found a second wind and put together a great service game to claw her way back to 5-4.
The Ukrainian stepped up to the line once again to serve out the match. She did just enough to gain a match point, drawing an error from her opponent. An unreturnable serve then sealed the match for Svitolina, who booked a berth in the semifinal for the first time in her career.
“It feels amazing,” Svitolina said to Lee McKenzie of BBC Sports. “The first semifinal for me and I didn’t expect that it would happen here so it’s exciting and I’m looking forward to my match already.”
“It’s going to be another day. It’s a great opportunity for me to play another match here. I love the atmosphere and it’s exciting to play on center court for the first time," she added.
Simona Halep will stand between Svitolina and a first-ever Major final.
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