French Open 2023 results: Elina Svitolina beats Daria Kasatkina to reach quarter-finals

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Daria Kasatkina gives Elina Svitolina a thumbs up
In the absence of a handshake, Kasatkina gave Svitolina a thumbs-up at the end of the match
Dates: 28 May-11 June Venue: Roland Garros, Paris
Coverage: Live text and radio commentaries of selected matches across BBC Radio 5 Sports Extra, the BBC Sport website and app

Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina reached the French Open quarter-finals as her first Grand Slam since becoming a mother continued in dream fashion.

The former world number three beat Russian ninth seed Daria Kasatkina 6-4 7-6 (7-5) to reach the last eight.

The pair did not shake hands but Kasatkina gave a thumbs-up to Svitolina, who had called her “brave” for criticising the Russian invasion.

“To get to the quarter-final is special,” Svitolina said on court.

“I didn’t dream about this when I was giving birth in October last year.

“It’s unbelievable for me to be able to compete here… Hopefully I can push further – I’m really motivated to give my everything for the next matches.”

Svitolina, who is chasing a first Grand Slam title, will next face second seed Aryna Sabalenka, of Belarus, or American former US Open champion Sloane Stephens, who play in Sunday’s night session.

The 28-year-old Ukrainian raced to a 4-1 lead to take early control against Kasatkina and, even though the Russian got one of the breaks back, Svitolina served out the opening set.

A semi-finalist in Paris last year, 26-year-old Kasatkina broke first in the second set but Svitolina fought back to lead 5-4 but then failed to serve out the match.

The players traded breaks to force a tie-break, with Svitolina coming out on top to claim her eighth victory in a row as she reached the quarter-finals in Paris for a fourth time.

Earlier on Sunday, Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a runner-up at the 2021 French Open, fought back from a set down to beat Belgian 28th seed Elise Mertens 3-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-3.

Pavlyuchenkova, who has slipped to 333rd in the world rankings after a knee injury kept her out for five months last year, will play Karolina Muchova in the quarter-finals.

The Czech, who had never got further than the third round at Roland Garros, claimed a 6-4 6-3 victory over Russian lucky loser Elina Avanesyan on Court Suzanne-Lenglen.

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