For the second time in the last 60 days, Elina Svitolina has toppled a world No. 1. The Ukranian stunned Serena Williams at the Rio Olympics and Thursday in Beijing she bounced current No. 1 Angelique Kerber out of Beijing 6-3, 7-5.
“I’m really, really happy that I won today,” Svitolina said. “Really happy that I finish with two sets because last time playing in Montreal, I was really close to win. I was serving I think two times for the match and didn’t close the match. So today I’m really happy that I won and I served it out in 6-5.
“The main thing is to just stay in the moment, to think about the plan, about the match, what is my next step, next action. So I try to really don’t think about it. If I think too much, I lose my way,” she said. “Of course, Angelique or Serena, they’re not letting you play your game. If you’re out for even two, three seconds, they just going to do winners. Yeah, I mean, they are there all the time. They’re not letting you go.”
Kerber’s loss leaves the door open for Serena Williams to retake the No. 1 ranking at Singapore, if the American chooses to play.
“It was a tough match,” Kerber said. “I had my chances, for sure, but I didn’t take it. I make a lot of easy mistakes. I was not playing my best, for sure. Physically I was not 100% because I feel a little bit my leg, so I was not able to play my best.
“I will not say that this is excuse for the lose. I know for me now I was not hundred percent there.”
Svitolina lines up Daria Gavrilova in the quarters.
Simona Halep also tumbled out of the event falling to Chinese hope Shuai Zhang 6-0, 6-3.
Agnieszka Radwanska advanced over Caroline Wozniacki 6-1, 6-3 and Johanna Konta picked up a third set tiebreaker victory over Karolina Pliskova.
Tomorrow, Petra Kvitova collides with Madison Keys in the marquee match. Konta meets Zhang and Radwanska will await the rain-delayed winner of Cornet and Shvedova.
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