Miami Open, ????? QF Preview
?? (4) Elina Svitolina vs. ?? (5) Jelena Ostapenko
The two youngest players in the top 10 will collide at the quarter-final stage of the Miami Open on Wednesday as the 4th seeded Elina Svitolina takes on the 5th seeded Jelena Ostapenko. This looms as an extremely exciting clash between two fierce competitors, a matchup that features a great contrast in styles. The ultra-aggressive, powerful game of Ostapenko up against the outstanding movement and all court game of Svitolina.
Elina Svitolina has been typically consistent in 2018. The Ukrainian has already won 2 titles and reached the quarter-finals at the Australian Open. Svitolina arrived in Miami on the back of a disappointing early exit in Indian Wells and with a point to prove given her relative failures at the biggest events of late. Svitolina started her Miami campaign with a big straight set win over the red-hot Naomi Osaka before recovering from a set down to defeat Daria Gavrilova. Svitolina secured her spot in the quarter-finals with a solid 7-5 6-4 win over Ashleigh Barty. Critically it was Svitolina who was able to win the last 5 games of the first set to grab control of the match and confirm her spot in the quarter-finals in Miami for the first time.
Jelena Ostapenko is displaying the best tennis we have seen from her in 2018 over the last week in Miami. Ostapenko has won 3 consecutive matches at an event for the first time in 2018. The Latvian is yet to drop a set in Miami, claiming solid victories over Timea Babos, Beatriz Haddad Maia and Petra Kvitova. Ostapenko’s 7-6 6-3 win over Petra Kvitova was easily the world number 5’s best win of the year, her first victory over a top 10 opponent in 2018, actually it was also her first win over a top 40 player this year. Ostapenko’s serve has been noticeably improved in Miami compared to the rest of the year.
The only previous match between the pair at the tour level took place at Wimbledon last year where Ostapenko claimed a 6-3 7-6 victory. Ostapenko was too strong for Svitolina on grass but on a hard court in Miami things are very different, can Svitolina reverse that result?