A mature display saw Svitolina hold her nerve at the end of both sets to close out a 6-3, 7-5 victory and book a quarterfinal meeting with Daria Gavrilova.
"I was just trying to be really focused on every ball, and of course try to win," Svitolina said in her on-court interview.
Earlier this week, Kerber suggested that she was feeling the strain of a hectic schedule that has now seen her play 35 matches since the start of July. However, against Svitolina she battled away until the last saving a couple a couple of match points in the final game.
Svitolina, who also beat then-No.1 Serena Williams at this summer's Olympics, continued to be the aggressor and was rewarded when Kerber sent a forehand sailing wide at the third time of asking.
"I was trying to think about my next step, what I should try to do," Svitolina added. "I tried to make my first serve and concentrated on the next shot, but still I was a little bit shaky!"
Konta, who reached the fourth round of the US Open and the quarterfinals last week in Wuhan, is making a late bid to reach the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. Depending on other results, a run to the final could elevate her to a qualification spot and she moved one step closer to that target by overcoming Pliskova, 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(2).