MONTERREY, Mexico -- No.1 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine raced into the Abierto GNP Seguros quarterfinals by picking up a 6-3, 6-4 victory over qualifier Olga Govortsova of Belarus on Thursday night.
"I feel great," Svitolina told the press, after her win. "I’m feeling fit and ready to play my quarterfinal."
"Every match matters a lot," the top seed added. "I try to prepare and be ready for anything that comes my way."
In the first meeting between World No.7 Svitolina and 142nd-ranked Govortsova, it was Svitolina who claimed the win after one hour and 18 minutes of play, extending her showing in her maiden appearance in Monterrey.
Svitolina won nearly 80 percent of points on her first serve during the clash, and broke her opponent four times while only dropping serve twice. Govortsova, who was seeking the second Top 10 win of her career, got 77 percent of her first serves into play, but was only effective 54 percent of the time when that occurred.
"I tried to be on my feet all the time, and tried to move really quickly, so I think this was the key to stay focused for every point," Svitolina stated.
In the last eight, Svitolina will take on surging Canadian teenager Leylah Fernandez. The 17-year-old, who reached her first WTA singles final last week in Acapulco, continues her strong form this week, including a victory over Sloane Stephens which propelled her into the quarterfinals.
"I know that [Fernandez is] starting to play well in 2020," said Svitolina. "She strikes the ball really good, and it’s important to be ready and to try to dominate. For me, it’s important just to focus on my game, really."
Govortsova got off to a swift start, cracking a backhand down the line to force an error from Svitolina and earn a service break in the very first game. The Belarusian’s aggressive play served her well as she consolidated her break for a 2-0 lead, then earned two break points in the next game, which would have given her a commanding double-break advantage.
However, Svitolina fended those chances off, drawing errors from the qualifier, to hold on for 2-1. The Ukrainian continued to emerge victorious in rallies in the next game, reclaiming the break and leveling the set at 2-2.
Svitolina missed a break point in Govortsova’s long hold for 3-3, and the top seed had to serve her way out of trouble before holding for 4-3, saving two break points along the way. But Svitolina took charge in the set in the next game, quickly zipping to triple break point, then deploying a backhand dropshot winner to claim the love break and a 5-3 lead.
With Svitolina serving for the set, the combatants fired excellent groundstrokes at each other throughout the game, but the Ukrainian ultimately reached set point with an error-forcing forehand. Svitolina converted that opportunity with a backhand winner, and she was one set closer to victory.
Svitolina cracked the second set open with a break for 3-2, although Govortsova saved three break points in that game before the top seed was able to claim it with a forehand winner. Svitolina then broke again for 5-2, putting herself a game away from victory.
With Svitolina serving for the match, though, Govortsova amped up her hard-hitting play, and powered her way to a break of serve, pulling to 5-3. The Belarusian then fended off a match point on her serve, firing back-to-back winners to eke out another hold and reach 5-4.
Svitolina’s second time around would be more successful, though. A strong serve by the No.1 seed queued up a second match point, and on that occasion, the Ukrainian triumphed, firing another solid delivery and forcing a short return to wrap up the affair.