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Preview: Elena Rybakina vs. Elina Svitolina - prediction, head-to-head, tournament so far

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Wimbledon quarter-final between Elena Rybakina and Elina Svitolina, including predictions, head-to-head and their tournament so far.

Elena Rybakina's bid for a second Wimbledon title continues in Wednesday's mouth-watering quarter-final match with Elina Svitolina.

The 2022 champion has dropped one set en route to the last eight, but she ought to expect a hard-fought contest against the two-time semi-finalist whose only lost set came in her tournament opener.

Match preview

Elena Rybakina at Wimbledon on July 6, 2024© Reuters

Even though Rybakina has been projected to reclaim the women's singles title lost in last year's quarter-final, she must maintain the high level from previous rounds to avoid another last-eight exit.

The one-time Slam champion could only reach the quarter-finals last year following her 2022 success, and she bids for another shot to reap the rewards of her consistency at SW19.

Eighteen of her 20 matches at the Championships have ended in victories for the Kazakhstani player, whose 90% winning record sees her join Ann Jones (92.3%) and Steffi Graf (91.4%) in the Open Era for a winning percentage of 90% or higher.

Only Laura Siegemund has taken a set off the No. 4 seed so far, with the 2022 champion recovering from being pegged back in the second set of that round-two match to win the decider.

She has dropped only four games since in rounds three and four, dismantling Caroline Wozniacki 6-0, 6-1 and dominating Anna Kalinskaya before the Russian's second-set retirement last time out.

Elina Svitolina reacts at Wimbledon on July 9, 2023© Reuters

Standing in the way of a 19th Wimbledon victory is Svitolina, whose form at this year's Championships has arguably been superior.

While Kalinskaya is the highest-ranked seed defeated by Rybakina — the Russian was making a first appearance in the last 16 — Svitolina's third-round victory over consecutive runner-up Ons Jabeur was a bigger statement win, followed up by the Ukrainian making light work of Wang Xinyu in the previous round.

The world No. 21 is yet to record success at any Slam, even if she has earned a run to three semi-finals in her career, including two at SW19.

She seeks a third on the lawns of Wimbledon and a fourth overall on Wednesday, keen to continue her ambition of notching that elusive major and take advantage of a glut of top seeds either withdrawing or losing in the earlier rounds.

To achieve that, the Ukrainian, who has been perfect since her three-setter in round one, must eliminate the only top-10 seed remaining in the competition.

Tournament so far

Elena Rybakina:

First round: vs. Elena-Gabriela Ruse 6-3 6-1
Second round: vs. Laura Siegemund 6-3 3-6 6-3
Third round: vs. Caroline Wozniacki 6-0 6-1
Round of 16: vs. Anna Kalinskaya 6-3 3-0 ret.

Elina Svitolina:

First round: vs. Magda Linette 7-5 6-7[9] 6-3
Second round: vs. Jule Niemeier 6-3 6-4
Third round: vs. Ons Jabeur 6-1 7-6[4]
Round of 16: vs. Wang Xinyu 6-2- 6-1

Head To Head

Strasbourg (2020) - Final: Svitolina 6-4 1-6 6-2

Eastbourne (2021) - Round of 16: Rybakina 6-4 7-6(3)

Olympics (2021) - Bronze medal match: Svitolina 1-6 7-6(5) 6-4

Roland Garros (2024) - Round of 16: Rybakina 6-4 6-3

Rybakina and Svitolina have played four times before this year's quarter-final encounter at Wimbledon, with the pair splitting their previous meetings.

Their last match came recently at Roland Garros, where the 2022 Wimbledon champion got the better of her opponent in straight sets.

Of their previous matches, only one has come on grass, also claimed in two sets by the current world No. 4 at Eastbourne in 2021.

SM words green background

We say: Rybakina to win in three sets

Wednesday's quarter-final is close to call, with little separating both players, who have made it this far with only one set dropped.

It really could go either way, but the 2022 champion should edge out her opponent to improve her outstanding record at the All England Club.

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