Tennis: Svitolina poised for top-10 breakthrough

Dubai (AFP) - Elina Svitolina lined up a possible breakthrough into the top-10 rankings for the first time, as she reached the semi-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Thursday with a 6-0, 6-4 defeat of Lauren Davis.

The seventh seed, currently ranked 13th in the world and winner of a fifth career title earlier this month in Taipei, will line up on Friday against either top seed Angelique Kerber or Croatian Ana Konjuh after they meet in a quarter-final match at the Aviation club.

Kerber can regain the WTA world No. 1 ranking from Serena Williams by winning the Dubai Tennis Championships on Saturday after losing the top honour after the American won the Australian Open.

"I'm really happy the way I started and the way I finished the match, I was being very aggressive and it worked really good," said Svitolina.

"I was calm and positive today. I'm really happy with the performance.

"I was expecting she would do something different after losing 0-6 - it's always tough. I was expecting her to come back to the game.

"I was trying to stick to my plan and stay really positive. I knew that there would be some up-and-downs, but I tried to do more, more effort from my side so I didn't lose my focus too much."

Latvian Anastasija Sevastova defeated Wang Qiang 6-4, 7-5 as the Chinese national lost her first sets of the week.

Sevastova will wait to face either tenth seed Caroline Wozniacki or teenager American CiCi Bellis, who upset 2012 champion and fourth seed Agnieszka Radwandka in the third round.