#RG17 Svitolina ‘stays strong mentally’ to end Martic run


PARISUkraine’s Elina Svitolina dug deep to produce her best tennis in adversity, beating Croatian qualifier Petra Martic 4-6 6-3 7-5 on Monday to book a French Open quarter-final spot.

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

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Elina Svitolina raises her arms after beating Petra Martic at Roland Garros on Monday. Photo: Christophe Ena, APElina Svitolina is being treated by Martina Kehoe during her clash against Petra Martic. Photo: Christophe Ena, AP

“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.

Petra Martic had her excellent French Open campaign ended by Elina Svitolina on Monday. Photo: Christophe Ena, AP

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.

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