After reaching the fourth round in the previous two trips to New York, Elina Svitolina has shifted her game into a higher gear at this year's campaign, advancing into the first quarter-final at the US Open. On Sunday night, Elina took down Madison Keys 7-5, 6-4 in swift an hour and 15 minutes after a rock-solid performance, one of the best of the season.
Madison was the more aggressive player on the court with 32 winners and 40 unforced errors but that wasn't enough to gain the advantage, taking only 12 points on the return and never creating a break point. Svitolina was 36 from 39 on the first serve and the pressure was always on her rival who got broken twice from five opportunities offered to the Ukrainian, sending Elina into the last eight where she plays Johanna Konta.
Nothing could have separated them in the first ten games, with both hitting with power and accuracy in own service games to avoid break points and march towards the tie break. Instead of that, Elina grabbed a break in the 11th game when Madison netted a forehand, moving in front and closing the set with three winners in the next game for a 7-5 in 38 minutes.
The second set saw nine comfortable holds and an early break for Svitolina that carried her towards the finish line after another rock-solid performance behind the initial shot. Keys held at 15 with a forehand winner in the opening game but that wasn't the case in the third game when she sprayed a backhand error to push Svitolina 2-1 in front.
Elina cemented the break with a volley winner in game four and sealed the deal at 5-4 after another backhand mistake from the American, holding at love and racing into the quarter-final, thrilled with the way she performed against the 10th seed and a former finalist.