Meltdown of the year? I was expecting it, says Svitolina

  • Meltdown of the year? I was expecting it, says Svitolina

Meltdown of the year? I was expecting it, says Svitolina

Halep looked out of the contest at 6-3 5-1 down but she rallied back and forced a tiebreak.

Bullied around the court, Halep dug in with defiance and pulled off a rousing Roland Garros comeback.

"She was playing tough, hard and strong".

The Romanian, the favourite to clinch the title at Roland Garros, was unstoppable on Philippe-Chatrier as she clinched a 6-1 6-1 win in 60 minutes.

On Thursday, she will face No. 2 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, a 7-6 (3), 6-4 victor over No. 28 Carolina Garcia of France.

Wawrinka took a medical timeout midway through the second set, laying down on the sideline and getting massaged by a trainer, but then played well the rest of the way, using his sweet-swinging one-handed backhand to great effect.

However, all that changed on Monday, as the 25-year-old struck 19 winners in the game to return to the last eight for the second time in her career.

- "It's fantastic for me, I was 0-5 against him (on the head-to-head record)". With the score 5:3 Ukrainian pulled a heavy game on his serve and on the third attempt implemented a set-bol. The fifth-seed and 2014 finalist then fell behind 1-5 in the second set.

She sure didn't shown signs of any issues Wednesday, scrambling all over the court to retrieve shots by Svitolina that seemed destined to be winners.

But the Romanian survived, saving a match point in the process, and will perhaps think her name is on the trophy.

That third game ultimately proved to be pivotal as Garcia found herself serving to stay in the match at 4-5, and looked to have crumbled to the pressure after falling 0-30 down.

After saving the match point, admitting later that she had not even realized it was one, Halep got another set point thanks to a wayward Svitolina forehand and sealed the set with an outrageous netcord that dribbled over.

Unfortunately, Svitolina are unable to concentrate on the deciding set.

Disappointed with her demeanor between the second and third sets, her coach Darren Cahill - who used to work with former No. 1s Andre Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt - decided not to travel with Halep for several weeks.

Svitolina set up match point, but Halep saved it, and a net cord victor gave Halep the set and the momentum. In the victory, Halep won 62 percent of her first serve points and 48 percent of her second serve points. She led 6-5 in the overall head-to-head record, but failed to nail a win on clay court against Navarro.

The feisty Halep wasn't done.

- Thiem hit an impressive tally of 14 winners to Djokovic's five in the second set.

A shattered Svitolina never recovered. She chased down ball after ball, played some incredible baseline defense, and coaxed the increasingly frustrated Svitolina into a flurry of unforced errors late in the match.