Svitolina surges into last 8 in Brisbane

Ukraine's Elina Svitolina continued her impressive start to the season when she demolished Croatia's Ana Konjuh 6-3, 6-1 in the second round of the Brisbane International yesterday.

Svitolina took just 64 minutes to see off Konjuh at the Pat Rafter Arena and book an enticing quarter-final showdown with Britain's Johanna Konta.

She was joined in the final eight by defending champion and second seed Karolina Pliskova, who took 10 minutes less to demolish American Catherine Bellis 6-1, 6-1.

Svitolina, 23, started the week as world No. 6 but would finish it as No. 4 if she wins the tournament.

She won five tournaments last year and goes into the Australian Open as a serious contender.

She had a tough opening-round win over Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro but was relatively untroubled against world No. 44 Konjuh.

"I'm playing well and I'm happy that I'm showing good tennis from the start of the year," Svitolina said. "I try to always find my good tennis out there and, you know, play well."

Estonia's Kaia Kanepi, the 2012 champion, also moved into the last eight with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Ukraine's Lesia Tsurenko. She will face Pliskova in the quarter-finals. - AFP