Australian Open 2021 - Elina Svitolina stunned as Jessica Pegula reaches last eight with upset win
Elina Svitolina was on the back foot for much of her match against the American Jessica Pegula, who has her first-ever top 10 win under her belt. Pegula faces a last-eight match against either Donna Vekic or her fellow American Jennifer Brady, while Svitolina is left to contemplate another disappointing Grand Slam showing.
Jessica Pegula of the United States celebrates winning match point in her Women's Singles fourth round match against Elina Svitolina of Ukraine during day eight of the 2021 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 15, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia.
Elina Svitolina has crashed out of the Australian Open, losing 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 against Jessica Pegula, who recorded her first top 10 win to reach a maiden Grand Slam quarter-final.
The Ukrainian had beaten her opponent convincingly in Abu Dhabi just a month ago, but was on the back foot for much of the first set as Pegula stepped into the court and forced her opponent further and further behind the baseline.
All of the opener's break points fell the way of the American and she eventually went 4-3 up and never looked back, bringing up set point by winning a fantastic 31-shot rally against an opponent renowned for her fighting qualities.
It looked like it could be a short encounter when Pegula backed up her victory by breaking in the opening game of the second. But suddenly her level dropped and Svitolina took full advantage by rattling off four straight games.
Only some superb fight from Pegula prevented Svitolina taking a double break lead but the Ukrainian eventually levelled the match and took it to a decider.
Watch: Pegula brings up set point against Svitolina in style
Pegula was back to her best in the opening sections of the final set, skipping into a 4-1 lead in no time at all, only to gift the break of serve back to Svitolina with a double fault.
But, as Svitolina looked to make it 4-4, her own serve broke down and Pegula held her nerve to record a fantastic win and reach the last eight.