Elina Svitolina advanced to the quarter finals of the Australian Open for the second year in a row on Monday, after delivering an uneven victory over Madison Keys 6-2, 1-6, 6-1.
The Ukrainian sixth seed took the first set comfortably, but the American charged back in the second, using her powerful forehand to target Svitolina’s backhand.
The momentum swung back behind Svitolina in the deciding set after she spent over 16 minutes in the third game defending her serve, saving five break points.
“Madison was playing great in the second set so I had to rise and put my level up,” said 24-year-old Svitolina, who won the WTA Finals in October.
“And I was very happy I could handle the pressure at 1-1 in the third set. I played really good tennis in the end. It was very hard because the sun was burning my eyes when I was serving the ball.”
She will take on either US Open champion Naomi Osaka or Latvian 13th seed Anastasija Sevastova for a place in the semi-final.