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Svitolina in quarters, Halep establishes title credentials

By The Assam Tribune
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PARIS, June 5: Fifth seed Elina Svitolina ended Petra Martic�s dream run to move into her second French Open quarterfinal, while Simona Halep outplayed Carlo Suarez Navarro to seal her place in the quarterfinals on Monday.

Ukraine�s Svitolina dug deep to produce her best tennis in adversity, beating Croatian qualifier Martic 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, while Halep ensured a resounding 6-1, 6-1 victory.

Martic, ranked 290th in the world after a 10-month injury layoff last year, was two points from victory at 5-2, 30-0 on her opponent�s serve, but Svitolina unleashed a barrage of winners to claim 20 of the last 26 points.

�I decided to give everything I had and stay strong mentally. I hope I will recover from my injury,� said the fifth seed, who received on-court treatment on her lower back at the beginning of the decider.

Paris-based Svitolina, one of the tournament favourites, next faces Romanian Simona Halep who she beat in the Italian Open final in Rome last month.

Martic, playing in the fourth round here for the second time, was no pushover.

She had beaten two seeded players in previous rounds and was close to adding a third to her list when she served for the match at 5-3.

But Svitolina suddenly found her range, hitting seven winners and an ace in the last three games before Martic bowed out on the second match point when she sent a backhand into the net.

Halep established her credentials to become the newest French Open champion with a blistering victory over Carla Suarez-Navarro of Spain to reach the quarterfinals.

With no former champions left in the field, pregnant Serena Williams watching from the sidelines and Maria Sharapova not invited to compete, third seed Halep has a golden opportunity to break into the Grand Slam winners� circle.

Monday�s evidence suggested the Romanian may be ready for it.

�I was expecting a tough game against a very good claycourt player,� Halep said. �But I managed to push her back.

�I played a good game.�

There could be no arguments from any observers or from Suarez Navarro who appeared stunned at the outcome.

Before this clash there had been little to suggest it would be so one-sided. Halep led their head-to-head record, but only by 6-5.

As soon as the match began, however, its complexion became quickly apparent. Halep settled faster and raced into a 5-0 lead before Suarez Navarro could register on the scoreboard.

The Spaniard finally held her serve for 5-1 when Halep made a rare forehand error to end a 15-stroke rally, but the Romanian put that blip behind her to seal the set with a backhand pass a game later.

There are few players who strike the ball more crisply that Suarez Navarro, especially on the backhand side where she usually unfurls a big top-spin shot.

But whether it was the swirling wind which snapped the flags lining the roof of the showcourt, or Halep�s varied pace, the Spaniard repeatedly struggled to find her range.

The one high point for Suarez Navarro was when she broke back for 1-1 in the second set, but it was all downhill from there.

Her timing had gone, then her footwork. At one point she was forced to lunge forward to strike a backhand and accordingly popped it into the net, her foot positioning all wrong. � Agencies

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Svitolina in quarters, Halep establishes title credentials

PARIS, June 5: Fifth seed Elina Svitolina ended Petra Martic�s dream run to move into her second French Open quarterfinal, while Simona Halep outplayed Carlo Suarez Navarro to seal her place in the quarterfinals on Monday.

Ukraine�s Svitolina dug deep to produce her best tennis in adversity, beating Croatian qualifier Martic 4-6, 6-3, 7-5, while Halep ensured a resounding 6-1, 6-1 victory.

Martic, ranked 290th in the world after a 10-month injury layoff last year, was two points from victory at 5-2, 30-0 on her opponent�s serve, but Svitolina unleashed a barrage of winners to claim 20 of the last 26 points.

�I decided to give everything I had and stay strong mentally. I hope I will recover from my injury,� said the fifth seed, who received on-court treatment on her lower back at the beginning of the decider.

Paris-based Svitolina, one of the tournament favourites, next faces Romanian Simona Halep who she beat in the Italian Open final in Rome last month.

Martic, playing in the fourth round here for the second time, was no pushover.

She had beaten two seeded players in previous rounds and was close to adding a third to her list when she served for the match at 5-3.

But Svitolina suddenly found her range, hitting seven winners and an ace in the last three games before Martic bowed out on the second match point when she sent a backhand into the net.

Halep established her credentials to become the newest French Open champion with a blistering victory over Carla Suarez-Navarro of Spain to reach the quarterfinals.

With no former champions left in the field, pregnant Serena Williams watching from the sidelines and Maria Sharapova not invited to compete, third seed Halep has a golden opportunity to break into the Grand Slam winners� circle.

Monday�s evidence suggested the Romanian may be ready for it.

�I was expecting a tough game against a very good claycourt player,� Halep said. �But I managed to push her back.

�I played a good game.�

There could be no arguments from any observers or from Suarez Navarro who appeared stunned at the outcome.

Before this clash there had been little to suggest it would be so one-sided. Halep led their head-to-head record, but only by 6-5.

As soon as the match began, however, its complexion became quickly apparent. Halep settled faster and raced into a 5-0 lead before Suarez Navarro could register on the scoreboard.

The Spaniard finally held her serve for 5-1 when Halep made a rare forehand error to end a 15-stroke rally, but the Romanian put that blip behind her to seal the set with a backhand pass a game later.

There are few players who strike the ball more crisply that Suarez Navarro, especially on the backhand side where she usually unfurls a big top-spin shot.

But whether it was the swirling wind which snapped the flags lining the roof of the showcourt, or Halep�s varied pace, the Spaniard repeatedly struggled to find her range.

The one high point for Suarez Navarro was when she broke back for 1-1 in the second set, but it was all downhill from there.

Her timing had gone, then her footwork. At one point she was forced to lunge forward to strike a backhand and accordingly popped it into the net, her foot positioning all wrong. � Agencies