Svitolina completes the semifinal lineup at the Rogers Cup, and the defending champion will face No.3 seed Sloane Stephens in the final four. Reigning US Open champion Stephens dispatched Anastasija Sevastova, 6-2, 6-2, in the quarterfinals earlier on Friday.
“It’s going to be exciting,” said Svitolina. “[Stephens] came back; you know, she’s playing great since. It’s going to be another tough semifinal match. I’m just very happy the way I was playing today. I’m happy to be again in semifinal [of the] Rogers Cup.”
Mertens was on fire in the opening stages of the match, using her impressive movement and punishing backhand to completely overwhelm Svitolina en route to a 4-0, double-break lead, and make a charge towards claiming her second straight victory over the Ukrainian.
But the World No.5 started to turn the match around at that point, using her effective forehand to get on the board at 4-1, and taking advantage of an error-prone Mertens to finally break the Belgian’s serve and pull to 4-2. More strong forehands by Svitolina on break point in Mertens’ next service game led to the Ukrainian taking back another break and leveling the set at 4-4.
Mertens struck back, breaking Svitolina at love to reach 5-4 and serve for the set, but Svitolina took advantage of more mistakes by the World No.15 to break again for 5-5. Two games later, the court craft and defense of Svitolina drew Mertens into even more errors and a resultant loss of service, giving the fifth seed a one-set lead after a stunning comeback.