WTA Wimbledon: Elina Svitolina, Barbora Strycova and Shuai Zhang reach QF



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WTA Wimbledon: Elina Svitolina, Barbora Strycova and Shuai Zhang reach QF

The 8th seed Elina Svitolina is through to her first Wimbledon quarter-final after the first round loss a year ago, defeating the 24th seed Petra Martic 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 49 minutes. The Croat gave her best to stay in contention despite physical problems, hitting 34 winners and 31 unforced errors but converting just one out of five break points.

On the other hand, the Ukrainian tamed her shots nicely, finishing the encounter with 30 winners and 17 unforced errors, stealing half of the return points and delivering four breaks from 11 opportunities to seal the deal in straight sets and march into the last eight.

It was a grueling battle in the opening set that lasted for more than an hour, with 100 points and 11 break chances up for grabs. There were more than 20 deuces in the middle games and they traded breaks in games five and six to stay neck and neck, surviving tough service games before Svitolina made a break at 4-4 (saving three break points in the previous game) and brought a set home with a hold at love for a 6-4.

She was the better player on the court in set number two, racing into a 4-0 lead and moving over the top with a hold at love at 5-2, achieving the best Wimbledon result after a mediocre season due to a knee injury. Playing her 16th straight Wimbledon, Barbora Strycova is through to the second quarter-final after 2014, toppling the 21st seed Elise Mertens 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 in two hours and 22 minutes after an impressive comeback.

Mertens had a 6-4, 5-2 advantage but that wasn't enough to carry her over the top, allowing the Czech to grab five games in a row and steal the set, with Strycova dominating in the decider to hit the last eight. Hitting 34 winners and 31 unforced errors, Barbora outplayed the rival who stood on a 29-32 ratio, finding that necessary boost in the second part of the second set when she had no room for errors to emerge as a deserved winner.

Both players had their chances on the return and it was Strycova who converted six out of 12, suffering only four breaks and rattling off nine straight games in the second and third set that pushed her into the last eight.

The 30-year-old Shuai Zhang had failed to win a match at Wimbledon in the first five trips to the All England Club, changing all that this year to advance into the quarter-final, her second at Majors after the Australian Open in 2016.

Zhang took down the young Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska 6-4, 1-6, 6-2 in an hour and 46 minutes, recovering after a loose second set to book the spot into the last eight. Both players hit more errors than winners and it was Yastremska who controlled the pace, going for shots and spraying too many mistakes in the end.

Zhang won just two points more than the youngster and grabbed five breaks in comparison to four for Yastremska, stealing the Ukrainian's serve four times in a row in the decider to move over the top and stay on the title course.