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Svitolina survives injured Konta in Brisbane

BRISBANE, Australia - Ukrainian superstar Elina Svitolina surged back from a set down to defeat Johanna Konta, 1-6, 7-6(6), 3-2, ret. and reach the semifinals of the Brisbane International.

"I don't feel too comfortable saying really too much because, actually, I don't know yet until tomorrowmorning," the former Wimbledon semifinalist said after the match. "But hopefully it's nothing more than a low-grade strain and more muscle spasm more than anything."

No.3 seed Elina Svitolina recovered from a set down to outlast British No.1 Johanna Konta, who was forced to retire due to a right hip injury at the Brisbane International.
"It’s the worst thing that can happen to a player, especially when it happens during a match," Svitolina said during the on-court interview. "It’s always very disappointing. Hopefully Jo will recover quickly and we will see her back on court soon. She played a really good match today and you can see she’s really playing well."

Indeed, Konta played a nearly flawless first set, striking three aces and saving all four break points faced to put herself six games from the semifinals.

"She was too good in the first set. She can play really well, moves well and strikes the ball pretty good. If you give her chances, she’ll take them."

Svitolina stopped the bleeding in the second and twice served her way out of trouble at 4-5 and 5-6 before leveling the match in a tie-break.

"I had to be really focused on each point in the second set. I told myself to fight until the last ball and wait for my chances. I served well at the end of the set, so I was happy I could produce a good game there."

Things remained tense to start the decider even as Konta called the trainer for a right hip issue after three games, but after Svitolina secured a 17th straight service hold, the Brit called it quits after two hours and 12 minutes on Pat Rafter arena.

"It's quite unfortunate, but I guess most importantly right now I feel more kind of at task," Konta said. "I'm doing everything I can now, going through the steps of making sure. I'm eliminating things and then starting a quick turnaround hopefully."

In all, both displayed much of what they do best on the court, striking a combined 67 winners to just 28 unforced errors. Svitolina will need a similarly consistent showing to defeat her next opponent, the winner of the third quarterfinal between Kaia Kanepi and No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova.

"I don’t have a preference because they’re both really good players. It’ll be a tough match for both of them, but we’ll see who wins. I’ll try to recover and be ready for tomorrow’s semifinal."

Author: David Kane, WTA Tennis

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