Svitolina fights back to progress in Rome

Elina Svitolina is an 11-time winner on the WTA Tour and is the defending champion in Rome

Defending champion Elina Svitolina continued the defence of her Italian Open title after battling back from a set down to beat Daria Kasatkina in Rome on Thursday.

After a bad start on Thursday, Ukraine's world No.4 secured a 0-6 6-3 6-2 victory in a hard-fought contest to reach the quarter-finals.

Svitolina struggled to find her rhythm in the opening set, which she conceded in just 21 minutes to the Russian 21-year-old.

The 23-year-old from Odessa had her confidence boosted in the second set with an early break before winning four straight games on her way to evening the scores and forcing a decider.

Svitolina, who won five tour titles in 2017, continued her resurgent run in the final set as she commanded the rallies on her way to an impressive comeback win.

Angelique Kerber will be Svitolina's opponent in the last eight after the German former world No.1 dispatched Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-1 6-1.

Top ranked Simona Halep will likely maintain her status after she entered the quarter-finals without hitting a ball.

Her opponent Madison Keys withdrew from their match earlier in the morning due to a right rib injury.

Halep, runner-up last year in Rome, will next play Sloane Stephens or Caroline Garcia.

Fifth-seeded Jelena Ostapenko is also through after securing a 2-6 6-3 6-4 victory over Britain's Johanna Konta to book her place.

It was Konta who set the early pace as she claimed 31 points with just three errors to collect the first set in 34 minutes.

It was a complete role reversal in the second set as Ostapenko, who will begin the defence of her French Open title later this month, became more aggressive and achieved more positive results as she wrapped up the match on an accurate and powerful serve.