UPDATE 3.30pm: Staring at defeat down a set and a double break, Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina has staged a remarkable turnaround to knock out the Brisbane International’s No.3 seed, Angelique Kerber 4-6 7-5 6-3.
The rising 20-year-old found her range and confidence to completely overrun the world No.5, taking four games in a row to get back into the second set after being down 3-0.
“I was trying to fight, and that’s the only thing what I was trying to do. And to find my rhythm back because I lost a little bit after losing the first set after the tough game on 4-3 in the first set,” she said.
“So I was just trying to fight, and I was hoping for a chance. “
And fight she did.
The 2010 junior French Open champion broke Kerber early in the third and had points for 5-1 before the German kept herself in the hunt after a lengthy service hold.
Svitolina needed three match points, but sealed it with a brilliant forehand drop-shot winner for a meeting with top seed Maria Sharapova.
The two met once on tour last season, with the Russian completing a straight sets victory in Bejing on hardcourt.
Renowned for her fiery temperament as a youngster, Svitolina goes into the match with nothing to lose and the attitude that she’ll take plenty away from the experience regardless of the outcome.
“It’s always great to compete against these players. You can see what you need to improve. It’s just great to play against them,” she said.
“So I hope I can show my best. Of course I will just try and fight as I did today, and hopefully I can win tomorrow.”
> Watch match highlights here (only available outside Australia):