A first Wimbledon quarter-final for either 13th seed Jelena Ostapenko or fourth seed Elina Svitolina is at stake on Monday, with the Latvian and Ukrainian facing off on Court 12 for a place in the last eight.
This will be the first meeting between the two, and it is undoubtedly an interesting one, with Ostapenko seemingly unburdened by any pressure following her French Open triumph, and with Svitolina’s four WTA singles titles this year being unmatched. With both women having a career best year, it will be interesting to see who is to make that year even better.
This will be the first match out on Court 12, with the winner facing either 27th seed Ana Konjuh or 10th seed Venus Williams in the last eight.
Road to the fourth round
Despite having very little experience or success on grass in the past, it is Svitolina who has had the easier path of the two to this stage, with Ostapenko being drawn into three tight battles on her way to the second week.
Seeded fourth, Svitolina started her campaign with a tight two set win over the extremely dangerous Ashleigh Barty; a match many had picked the Ukrainian to lose. Following that fairly impressive win, Svitolina stormed past Francesca Schiavone for the loss of just three games, before seeing off Carina Witthoeft in straight sets to reach the second week for the first time.
Meanwhile, Ostapenko started against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, surviving a poor second set to eventually prevail in three sets against the Belarusian. The Latvian was then forced to come from a set down to beat qualifier Francoise Abanda in the second round, though then snapped a run of eight consecutive three-set matches to see off the potentially dangerous Camila Giorgi in two tight sets.
Though she has undoubtedly made life difficult for herself so far, Ostapenko will undoubtedly be confident heading into this clash. There have been no signs of any hangover following her remarkable triumph in Paris, and there is absolutely no doubt about what her tactics for this match will be; she will attack at every single opportunity, with her numbers of both winners and unforced errors set to be high.
However, she must try to be a bit more patient and controlled in this match, as Svitolina is a much more consistent opponent than any she has faced so far and will likely give Ostapenko less free points.
Svitolina herself tends to be aggressive, and must attack at every single opportunity she gets in this match; she will likely have less than usual against an opponent who is constantly looking to attack. It will be interesting to see how the fourth seed tries to frustrate Ostapenko, who undoubtedly can get slightly rattled, and if Svitolina gets in control of the rallies early on she will have a chance of winning many of them. However, she absolutely must look to defend well, and try to limit the number of opportunities her opponent gets.
Hopefully, this will be an exciting encounter, with neither woman being afraid of going for their shots and with both being highly motivated and energetic on court. Svitolina has undoubtedly had a solid season and a maiden Wimbledon quarterfinal is undoubtedly possible, though it seems that Ostapenko, who is the more comfortable on grass and is consistently more aggressive, could just edge this and continue her recent success.
Prediction: Jelena Ostapenko in three sets