Svitolina sets up last-eight encounter with Konta

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Elina Svitolina set up an intriguing quarter-final showdown with Johanna Konta at the Brisbane International after dispatching Ana Konjuh on Wednesday. 

On a day that saw defending champion Karolina Pliskova also advance, Svitolina triumphed 6-3 6-1 in just over an hour, making the first of five breaks in the fourth game and not looking back. 

Third seed Svitolina and Konta, seeded fifth, will now duel for a place in the final four and the Ukrainian views it as an important part of her preparation for the Australian Open. 

"I'm trying to work hard and stay focused on each match, to show my best tennis and challenge myself to go even higher and better," Svitolina told the WTA official website.

Pliskova, the number two seed, started her title defence in ruthless fashion, brushing aside Catherine Bellis 6-1 6-1. 

American Bellis failed to find a foothold in the match as a break point opportunity did not materialise and Pliskova, out to win a grand slam title for the first time in 2018, needed little encouragement to take full advantage. 

Kaia Kanepi, who defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-4 6-3, is next up for Pliskova, with the winner of that last-eight clash set to face either Svitolina or Konta in the semis. 

Aliaksandra Sasnovich is also through to the quarter-finals, battling from a set down to beat Anett Kontaveit 1-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-3.