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Svitolina downs Konta to reach U.S. Open semis

Svitolina downs Konta to reach U.S. Open semis
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By Rory Carroll

NEWYORK (Reuters) – Elina Svitolina continued her dominant run against Johanna Konta with a 6-4 6-4 win on Tuesday to reach the U.S. Open semi-finals for the first time.

The fifth-seeded Ukrainian, who has won all of her meetings with the Briton, reached her second straight Grand Slam semi-final after also making the last four at Wimbledon in July.

Svitolina’s sturdy baseline attack wore down the 16th-seeded Konta, who made 35 unforced errors, 22 more than her opponent, on a sun-soaked day at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

“It feels amazing,” she said of being the first player to reach the semis at the tournament this year.

“It was a very, very tough match … I think we were both striking the ball. It was quite even,” she said.

“I’m very happy with how I handled the pressure.”

Svitolina rifled a backhand winner on break point for a 4-3 lead in the second set, celebrating with an emphatic fist pump in front of the crowd that included her boyfriend Gael Monfils, who plays his quarter-final on Wednesday.

Konta continued to fight, however, saving two match points on her serve, but Svitolina ended the contest in the next game when the Briton fired long.

Svitolina said that Frenchman Monfils has been a big help to her during the tournament.

“Definitely we are pushing each other I think because we are trying to join each other in the quarter-final and now the semi final … so now he has to step up his game,” she said with a laugh.

Next up for Svitolina is a meeting with either eighth seed Serena Williams or 18th seed Wang Qiang, who play their quarter-final match later on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll; Editing by Toby Davis)

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