Elina Svitolina Upsets Serena Williams – Olympics Day 4

The Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina scored one of the biggest upsets of her career in Rio’s rounf of 16.

Garbine Muguruza and Serena Williams, a couple of the tournament favorites at the 2016 Rio Olympics, lost on Tuesday in the women’s singles draw. Early in the day Muguruza fell in the round of 16 to Monica Puig. Then later on in the day Elina Svitolina of the Ukraine eliminated Serena Williams. The loss of Muguruza and Williams, the most recent Grand Slam champions on tour, leaves Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, and Madison Keys as the tournament favorites.

Both Muguruza and Williams have to be disappointed with the results. However, in the case of the Spaniard, shock has to be added to the disappointment. Puerto Rico’s Puig had never defeated a top-five player before upsetting Muguruza on Tuesday and the result really did come out of nowhere. Furthermore, in losing on Day 4 Muguruza gave up what was a very favorable draw to a medal match.

Puig, speaking after the victory, did suggest that the win signified that she was now a force on tour.

“I know what I want to achieve and I’m letting the world know that Monica Puig is here,” the 22 year old stated. “It’s my time. I’ve always been there, but I’ve never been able to maintain the level. But I’m doing it now and I’m in such a good moment.”

With Williams, the American did state that she was “disappointed” however the World No. 1 did not crash out to an unheralded player. Svitolina has established herself as a Top 25 player and she has 5 tour titles in her career. The American is now out of both the singles and doubles draws and you have to wonder if her Olympic career is actually over. By the time 2020 comes around, she will be almost 40 and it’s impossible to know where she will be at that point in her tennis career and her life.

The quarterfinal match-ups that are scheduled for Wednesday are now huge as they will determine who gets to play for a medal. The Olympic format is such that anyone who makes the semifinal is guaranteed a match for at least the bronze. Thus the four matches scheduled for Day 5 promise to be fiercely contested.

On the top half of the draw, Svitolina will face the Czech Republic’s Kvitova and Puig will face Laura Siegemund of Germany. On the bottom half, American Keys will face Russian Daria Kasatkina and Johanna Konta of Great Britain will face Kerber.

Keys is probably the player that has to like her draw the best and she appears to have an excellent chance at a medal. However, with Muguruza and Williams both out, the women’s draw is now an open tournament.

 

Shane Lambert