MELBOURNE: Unseeded Australian Open debutant Elise Mertens overwhelmed world number four Elina Svitolina in straight sets Tuesday to achieve a first Grand Slam semi-last.
The Belgian world number 37, on a 10-coordinate unbeaten streak in the wake of winning in Hobart this month, thumped out the Ukrainian 6-4, 6-0 out of 1hr 13min. Mertens, who is yet to drop a set, is the primary Belgian to make the last four since Kim Clijsters in 2012.
“I’m lost for words. I don’t recognize what to state. I just gave my everything today,” she said. “I played my game today and attempted to remain forceful.”
Mertens, 22, trains with her mentor and boyfriend Robbe Ceyssens at the Kim Clijsters Academy in Belgium and has seen her reality positioning ascent from 127 toward the finish of 2016. She had never been past the third round of a Grand Slam before in four appearances.
“He implies a considerable measure,” she said of the significance of Ceyssens.
“He’s close by constantly. Since we have been as one my diversion has just gone upward. All credit to him.”
Mertens made all the underlying running, returning forcefully and stirring up her diversion cunningly, accepting each open door to approach the net and remove Svitolina’s passing roads.
She softened the world number four up the third amusement and afterward again for a 5-2 lead.