Tennis: Sensational Elina Svitolina cruises into ASB Classic semi-finals with win over Marie Bouzkova

  • 06/01/2024

Elina Svitolina has continued her charge through the ASB Classic, dominating Marie Bouzkova 6-0 6-3 in their quarter-final match-up on Friday.

In stark contrast to the three-set battle she she'd had the previous evening with Emma Raducanu, Svitolina needed only 65 minutes to overpower her Czech opponent.

The opening set lasted just 25 minutes, as the Ukrainian plundered winners across the court, before she recovered from a break early in the second to close out a routine victory and send a message to the remaining field.

After taking a year off to have a baby, the world No. 25 had a brilliant 2023 and believes she's building on that momentum in her year-opening bid in Auckland.

"I think I'm moving better, I'm building the points much better," she said.

"Of course, 2023 was a comeback for me. It was a bit different, now I feel more comfortable with my game.

"I feel more composed because I had two months to work on it. I'm happy so far, so I'll try to continue the same way."

Svitolina will advance to face Wang Xiyu in the semi-finals on Saturday, after the Chinese player fought past Diane Parry 6-7 6-3 6-4 in their quarter-final clash on Friday.

Xiyu Wang during her quarter-final win.
Xiyu Wang during her quarter-final win. Photo credit: Getty Images

Wang battled for over three hours with her French opponent in a match which was also impacted by a one-hour rain delay.

It means Svitolina will likely be the fresher player on court when they meet in the second tie on Saturday, despite finishing later.

But the first tournament of the year is always one of the most demanding, she admits.

"It always takes a little bit more out of the body," she confessed. 

"We're taking it one day at a time and trying to do everything possible, my physiotherapist, the physio from the WTA as well, they're helping us, so I'm trying to do my best."

Defending champion Coco Gauff faces compatriot Emma Navarro in the first semi-final.