| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff
For the first time in her career, Elina Svitolina is into the semifinals of a Grand Slam.
Photo courtesy of USTA/Andrew Ong

 

For the first time in her career, Elina Svitolina is into the semifinals of a Grand Slam.

The 24-year-old Ukrainian had been 0-4 in her previous trips to major quarterfinals but ended that losing streak on Tuesday as she defeated Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic 7-5, 6-4 to reach the Wimbledon final four.

“It feels amazing, but I try to don’t think so much about it anymore as I was trying to not think so much about that I couldn’t get the win before the quarterfinals,” said Svitolina. “So the tournament continues.”

It was not an ideal start for the eighth-seeded Svitolina on Tuesday, as she struggled to find any rhythm on serve and found herself down 2-5 in the first set. But she turned the tide from there, winning the next five games to storm back and win the opener.

In the second, she once again fell behind a break, but won five straight games from 0-2 down to build a 5-2 advantage with a chance to serve for a spot in the semifinals. Muchova would get one of the breaks back to trim the deficit to 4-5, but serving for the match a second time, Svitolina would close things out and claim her spot in the final four.

 “I think in the end, this fighting spirit really helped me to find my game and to get back in the match,” said Svitolina. “The first set for sure was the key.”

Awaiting her in the semifinals will be seventh-seed Simona Halep, who after ending the run of American teenager Coco Gauff on Monday, defeating Shuai Zhang7-6(4), 6-1 in the day’s first match to finish.

“I knew she would come and hit with a lot of power. I know I had to play aggressive as much as possible and be strong, and I did great,” said Halep. “I feel fresh, healthy and confident, and I’m playing my best tennis on grass.”

Svitolina and Halep will square off for the eighth time against one another, with Svitolina holding a slight 4-3 edge in their previous meetings.