Tuesday, Wimbledon quarter-final between Elina Svitolina and Karolina Muchova was close to moments, but Svitolina rose above Muchova, 7-5, 6-4, to become the first Ukrainian woman to reach the semifinals of a singles major.
"Yes, it feels great. But I'm not trying to think so much about it," Svitolina said after her victory.
Svitolina will look to continue her best big race when she faces Simona Halep for a place in the championship on Thursday. Svitolina leads their head-to-head series 4-3, where Halep wins their latest meeting in a tight three-set earlier this year in the Doha semi-finals. The two have never met grass before.
Muchova started fighting anxiety, spraying loose bugs and hit a double error in the opening game. The nerves did not last long when the Czech Republic quickly caught the next four games and prevented Svitolina from playing his free-flowing game by taking shots early, getting into court and serving and volleying successfully.
But after leading 5-2, undisturbed errors began to creep in, so Svitolina herself could draw herself. In a critical game of 5-5, Svitolina fought five missed break points before conversion to go up 6-5 in the set. With her confidence she traveled so comfortably to earn the first set.
"Finally, I think this fighting spirit really helped me find my game and get back in the game.
With boyfriend Gael Monfils cheering on from his box, Svitolina put many balls into play and forced Muchova to play longer rallies. The patient's game plan worked against a tired Muchova, who played a 16-marathon round against Monday against former World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova, where she was 13-11 in the decisive set. In favor of a double break, Svitolina, who could not earn the match 5-2, finished the job of unreachable earning on the teen's next opportunity to claim the victory in an hour and 32 minutes.
"The hardest part was that I had to do the match physically. I had to push her physically because I knew of course she was playing three hours yesterday. She was a bit tired."
Svitolina clashed with a 0-4 record in big quarter finals. It is worth noting that she was two points away from going to the second round to Margarita Gasparyan until the Russians suffered from a leg problem that forced her to retire towards the end of the second set.