There’s no question Elina Svitolina has earned her place in the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals with back to back hard fought victories. The sixth seed outlasted Australia’s Asheligh Barty 7-6 (8), 5-7, 6-4 in three hours and 12 minutes - the longest WTA match of the 2019 season to date - before backing it up with a two hour and 11 minute quarterfinal battle against Marketa Vondrousova 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
"Well, the key was today just fighting for every ball and just trying to put one extra ball at the net.
It was not a perfect match for me, but I was fighting. I was just trying to bring everything what I've got left in my body. Because I know that tomorrow is a day off, so it's a good thing. I have some time to recover. For me, it's important.
Yeah, the body is feeling, you know, a little bit tired. It's normal. But in the end, I'm very happy. The physical part that I improved and stayed strong for this two tough matches," Svitolina said.
"I think these conditions here, they really benefit (Vondrousova’s) game.
The ball bounce very high. That's why I have to move really good. In the beginning, physically I was not 100% there. So, you know, that's why I had to really push myself physically today, because the rallies were long. I had to really, you know, stay in the match and try to put one extra ball.
In the end, you know, this is what brought me and what gave me the chance. I took it in the end to win the match."
It doesn’t get any easier for Svitolina either, as she will next face teenage sensation Bianca Andreescu, who nearly double bageled Garbine Muguruza in the quarters.
"I know she won the most matches in this season.
She plays great tennis. I think she moves good, and I have to be ready. But for me, I don't think so much about it right now. I have to enjoy. I have to recover. I have one day. We saw, I think, just a little bit of her matches, because she's just 18 years old.
You remember when you were 18 years old and you're playing against these top players at big tournaments, (so I have to be) mentally ready… and just try to bring my best game for the semi-final."