WTA Brisbane: Elina Svitolina stuns Angelique Kerber to reach semi-finals

WTA Brisbane: Elina Svitolina stuns Angelique Kerber to reach semi-finals

The Ukranian battled past the world number one in three sets to progress to the last four.

John Lupo

Sixth seed Elina Svitolina caused the biggest shock of the Brisbane International so far, stunning top seed and world number one Angelique Kerber 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the semi-finals.

Quick start for Svitolina as she captures the first set

Kerber has had a habit of making a slow start in recent matches and that trend continued as Svitolina broke immediately for the early lead. It almost got worse for the top-ranked player in the world as the Ukranian nearly took a 3-0 lead, but the German hung on. She followed with a break of serve to level the set at 2-2.

Any momentum Kerber built up was gone in the very next game as Svitolina broke again and unlike the last time, she held through her final three service games to close out the opening set 6-4.

Kerber rebounds, takes the second set to square match at one set all

In a carbon copy of the first set, Svitolina broke to open the second set and Kerber would immediately break back. From there, both players solidly held serve until the eighth game when Kerber took her chance to grab the lead 5-3. Serving for the set, the German wasted a 40-0 lead, but was still able to finish the middle frame off 6-3 and level the match at one set all.

Svitolina comes from behind to register upset, reach final four

Kerber showed why she is world number one as she continued her good play, breaking early in the deciding set. Unfortunately for the top seed, her passing shots in the next game were just slightly off and that allowed Svitolina to break back.

Finally, in the eighth game the Ukranian made the decisive breakthrough, winning a 15-point marathon to take a 5-3 lead. Tasked with serving out the match, she maintained her composure, holding to 15 and recording her third Top 10 win in the last five months.

Pliskova awaits Svitolina in the semi-finals

Svitolina will face third seed Karolina Pliskova in the last four and will be looking to reverse an 0-4 mark against the U.S. Open finalist.