Australian Open: Elina Svitolina eases into last eight


Svitolina, who extended her winning streak to eight matches with a quickfire 6-3 6-0 fourth-round victory over Czech qualifier Denisa Allertova in the early hours of Monday, easily beat Mertens in the final in Istanbul past year on clay. Join The Roar for live scores from around 1pm (AEDT).

Since then, it's been a ideal record for both players.

Mertens dominated against Svitolina, who also entered her first quarterfinal in Australia on a nine-match winning roll after winning the Brisbane International two week ago. But she went on an incredible run over the next 12 months.

Mertens went through to celebrate her first title, and this year she became the first to win that tournament twice in its history, while the WTA changed the rule to forbid a player sign for a Grand Slam qualifying draw and play a Tour-level event in the same week.

A year after opting out of qualifying for the Australian Open, Elise Mertens has reached the semifinals in her debut at the season-opening Grand Slam.

"She has been here before and she has the experience, so it's always nice to talk to her", Mertens said.

The first set had not been completely flawless by the Ukrainian, though she had finished it strongly and she carried that form throughout the second set.

If she makes it she will emulate Clijsters, who won at Melbourne Park in 2011.

While it was a quick match, it was by no means an early finish.

Mertens raced out to a 5-2 in the first set before Svitolina got her only service break.

Svitolina, whose record dropped to 0-3 in major quarters, had no answers to a player she had beaten in their only previous meeting.

The pair have played once previously, with Svitolina claiming a tournament win on clay in Istanbul.

Due to face Danish second seed Caroline Wozniacki or Spanish veteran Carla Suarez Navarro in Thursday's semi-finals, Mertens felt she had nothing to lose.

Serving for the set, Mertens tightened and a double fault on break point handed the Ukrainian a way back. They will be long sets, but Mertens won't win one.



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