Elina Svitolina produced one of her best performances of the year to upset top seed Garbiñe Muguruza in the quarterfinals of the Toray Pan Pacific Open.
WTA Staff

TOKYO, Japan - Elina Svitolina produced one of her best performances of the year to upset top seed Garbiñe Muguruza in the quarterfinals of the Toray Pan Pacific Open.

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Having knocked out CoCo Vandeweghe and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the previous two rounds, Svitolina produced another intelligent performance to defuse one of the WTA's most fearsome ballstrikers. In the end a break in the penultimate game of the match proved the difference as the Ukrainian closed out a 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 victory.

"It was a great performance from me and I think we both played really well," Svitolina said during her on-court interview. "In the second and third sets it was great tennis and I hope everyone enjoyed this match.

"It was pretty consistent tennis. I was playing really well from the first point. Maybe Garbiñe didn't expect this but it was a great match and I'm really happy that it finished my way!"

Svitolina upset Muguruza earlier this year in Dubai and was clearly unfazed at the prospect of repeating this feat, taking barely 20 minutes to race into a 5-0 lead. While Muguruza would eventually get on the scoreboard, it was only delaying the inevitable, her unseeded opponent wrapping things up with a rasping backhand drive.

This level proved difficult to match in the second set. And when she dipped, Muguruza was waiting to pounce, teasing a string of unforced errors to claim the decisive break. Both players had their opportunities in the decider, but surprisingly it was the underdog that held her nerve, producing some dogged defense to edge 5-3 ahead. Serving for the match there was no let-up, a trio of pin-point deliveries powering her to victory. 

In the semifinals she will face another big-hitter in the shape of Japanese wildcard Naomi Osaka.

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