Elina Svitolina to Replace Naomi Osaka as World No.4 After Beating Simona Halep at US Open 2021

Published 09/05/2021, 1:42 PM EDT
Sep 5, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Elina Svitolina the Ukraine hits to Simona Halep (not pictured) of Romania on day seven of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports


World No.5 Elina Svitolina defeated the two-time Grand Slam champion, Simona Halep, in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals of the 2021 US Open. With the fourth-round victory, Svitolina is certain of dethroning Naomi Osaka to achieve the World No.4 ranking next week.

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The Ukrainian, who won the Chicago Women’s Cup last month, hammered 17 winners and won 71 percent of the points of her first serve en route to her incredible win.

First set: Elina Svitolina vs. Simona Halep

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The first set began with Svitolina winning her opening service. The next game went to deuce, with an incredible rally leading up to it, as Halep held her service to make the set 1-1. In the third game, both players displayed impeccable ball-striking ability, but Halep’s powerful backhand winner sealed her an early break to go 2-1 up.

Sep 5, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Simona Halep of Romania hits to Elina Svitolina (not pictured) of Ukraine on day seven of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

However, Svitolina replied immediately by breaking back her opponent’s serve the following game. Halfway through the set, the scoreline read 3-3.

At 3-3, down two breakpoints, Svitolina stood her ground and ultimately won the tight game. The No.5 seed broke Halep’s service the following game to go 5-3 up in the opening set. As Halep’s continued to make unforced errors, Svitolina sealed the first set 6-3.

Second set: Svitolina vs. Halep

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The second set started on a high-octane note, with Halep winning an exhausting opening game, saving a breakpoint en route. However, with the momentum still on her side, Svitolina clinched her following game and then broke Halep’s service to go 2-1 up.

Sep 5, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Elina Svitolina the Ukraine hits to Simona Halep (not pictured) of Romania on day seven of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

In reply, Halep, the No.5 seed, broke back Svitolina the following game, leveling the set 2-2 with a scintillating backhand passing shot. Over the next two games, both players held their service game, making the scoreline 3-3.

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In the seventh game, Svitolina broke Halep’s serve for a second time and then held her subsequent service game to go 5-3 up. Ultimately, Svitolina’s consistency from the baseline proved overbearing for Halep as she clinched the match 6-3, 6-3.

This was Svitolina’s sixth win against Halep and she improves her head-to-head record against the Romanian to 6-4. Up next, she faces either Angelique Kerber or Leylah Fernandez in the quarterfinals of the US Open.

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Kshitij Tayal

467 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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