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Roland-Garros: Svitolina advances to quarter-finals, is back in the Top 100 and thrills the French crowd with a fairy-tale story

Elina Svitolina defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 7-6 (5) on Sunday evening and will face the winner of the match between American Sloane Stephens and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, the second seed, in the next round

Elina Svitolina, Roland-Garros 2023 Elina Svitolina, Roland-Garros 2023 – © JB Autissier / Panoramic
French Open •Round of 16 • completed
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The dream continues for Elina Svitolina. The Ukrainian advanced to the quarter-finals of Roland-Garros by winning against Russian Daria Kasatkina, the No 9 seed, 6-4, 7-6 (5) – equalling her best-ever performance in Paris (2015, 2017, 2020).

She now extends her head-to-head over Kasatkina to an incredible 7-0 – only Madison Keys has more wins over her. Notably, this is only her second win at a Grand Slam against a player ranked in the Top 10, the only other one coming at the 2019 US Open against Keys.

Thumbs-up from Kasatkina

She made hard work of it, though, dropping her first match point and having to go through a gruelling tiebreak with some tremendous rallies against a worthy foe.

But with the crowd – including husband Gael Monfils – behind her on Court Suzanne-Lenglen, she took her second as Kasatkina hit a return long.

“I cannot be more thankful for all your support!” she said on court afterwards. “I can feel what Gael was experiencing for all these years. I’m really thankful for all the French people.” Svitolina had made it clear that she, like the other Ukrainian players, would not shake hands with a Russian or Belarusian opponent, but they exchanged a small thumbs-up at the net in its place.

Svitolina, ranked No 192, now promised to be back around the 75th rank whatever happens, will face the winner of the night session match between American Sloane Stephens and Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, the second seed, next.

She came to Paris having just won the title in Strasbourg, then ranked world No 508 – but used her special ranking of world No 27 for main-draw entry to the year’s second Grand Slam, her first since giving birth to her daughter last year.

The Ukrainian defeated Italian Martina Trevisan, the No 26 seed (6-2, 6-2), Australian qualifier Storm Hunter (2-6, 6-3, 6-1) and Russian Anna Blinkova (2-6, 6-2, 7-5) ahead of her victory.

Kasatkina, ranked No 9, had done an impressive first week beating German Jule Niemeier (6-3, 6-4), Czech Marketa Vondrousova (6-3, 6-4) and American Peyton Stearns (6-0, 6-1).

Roland-Garros (Grand Slam), other last 16 results (Stade Roland-Garros, clay, EUR 49.600.000, most recent results first):

  • Anna Karolina Schmiedlova vs. Coco Gauff: Monday day session
  • Iga Swiatek vs. Lesia Tsurenko: Monday day session
  • Bernarda Pera vs. Ons Jabeur: Monday day session
  • Sara Sorribes Tormo vs. Beatriz Haddad Maia : Monday day session
  • Sloane Stephens vs. Aryna Sabalenka : Sunday night session
  • Karolina Muchova beat Elina Avanesyan (LL): 6-4, 6-3
  • Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova beat Elise Mertens (28): 3-6, 7-6 (3), 6-3

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