PARIS, France -- No.3 seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine marched into the Roland Garros quarterfinals for the third time in her career, easing past French hope Caroline Garcia, 6-1, 6-3, on Court Philippe Chatrier on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
World No.5 Svitolina had lost three of her four prior encounters with Garcia, and each of those losses came after she won the first set against the Frenchwoman. This time around, Svitolina made no mistake after claiming another one-set lead, confidently closing out the match after an hour and three minutes of play.
"For me, the goal is to win every single match that I step on the court," Svitolina said, in her post-match press conference. "I don't really care, you know, if it's first round or it's quarterfinal. I'm trying to have the same routine as every single match."
"It's important to not get too high and get too low," Svitolina continued. "You always have to keep the balance of just keeping your head down and working for it to get the win and to get the good results."
Svitolina converted six of her 13 break points on the day as she was superb on return, winning 60 percent of receiving points. The Ukrainian was out-winnered by 45th-ranked Garcia 16 to 10, but Svitolina had the much cleaner match, hitting 20 fewer unforced errors than her opponent.
"I think I did really well today to not focus on what's happening around," Svitolina said, regarding the French crowd supporting their countrywoman. "For sure, they were trying to push [Garcia] to come back into the match, but in the end, I was playing really good tennis. I think being really focused really helped me."
In order to reach her first-ever Roland Garros semifinal, Svitolina will have to get past Argentinian qualifier Nadia Podoroska. World No.131 Podoroska continued her breakthrough run in Paris by defeating Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic to reach her first-ever Grand Slam quarterfinal.
"I have to do my research," said Svitolina, who has never faced Podoroska. "I think my coach is going to give me lots of information going into this match. But for sure if [Podoroska] went that far, you know, she has a good game, apparently."
Svitolina had a thunderous start, sandwiching a love hold between two breaks of Garcia’s service to open up a commanding 3-0 lead. Garcia did claw one break back in the following game, hitting penetrating groundstrokes off of both wings to get on the scoreboard for 3-1 on her third break point of a lengthy tussle.
However, it would remain Svitolina’s moment in the opening frame, as the Ukrainian kept her returns sturdy and her shots deep, while Garcia’s miscues mounted. Svitolina reclaimed the double-break lead for 4-1, then zipped to a love hold for 5-1 as she neared the one-set lead.
Svitolina raced to triple set point in the next game by ending protracted rallies with winners, and though Garcia fended off one of the chances, she could not erase the second, as Svitolina fired a forehand winner to seal the set.
Elina Svitolina manages the wind and conditions to book her spot in the quarterfinals, defeating Caroline Garcia 61 63.— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) October 4, 2020
With the day’s results, No.3 seed Svitolina is the only seed remaining in the top half of the draw.
Faces either Podoroska or Krejcikova. #RG20 pic.twitter.com/jEz08ehwTG
At 1-0 in the second set, another closely-contested game fell in Svitolina’s favor, as she blasted a backhand return winner on her third break chance of the game to take a 2-0 lead. However, Garcia struck right back, finding a backhand winner of her own to break in the next game, to the delight of the crowd on the main court.
However, Svitolina earned the decisive break just one game later, after a forehand by the Frenchwoman flew long to cede a 3-1 lead to the third seed. Svitolina then had to stare down a break point in the next game, but she was able to serve her way out of trouble, edging to 4-1.
Serving for the match at 5-3, Svitolina was granted a long misfire by Garcia at 30-30, giving the Ukrainian her first match point. There, a forehand return by the French player flew wide, and Svitolina slid seamlessly into the elite eight in Paris.