American CoCo Vandeweghe wants you to know she’s ready for her close-up.
The confident unseeded American powered No. 1 Angie Kerber off the court on Sunday at the Australian Open in fourth-round play, moving into her first Grand Slam quarterfinal.
She hit 30 winners to Kerber’s seven in a 6-2, 6-3 win, sending out the women’s world No. 1 on the same day that the men’s world No. 1 Andy Murray crashed out of the tournament.
“I guess I faked (having confidence) a lot because I was feeling like crap out there,” said the American. “But, you know, fake it ’til you make it…my game plan was to execute knowing that she was going to get a lot of balls back…Last year I came here and didn’t even win a match and here I am now. It’s confidence having a full off-season with no injuries.”
The American made 20 unforced errors, typical for her big-hitting style, but Kerber had 15 in a display untypical of her usual steadyness.
Vandeweghe in the quarters will face No. 7 seed Garbine Muguruza Blanco, who eased past Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-3.
“We’ve played a lot, a couple of times,” Muguruza said of Vandeweghe. “It’s 1-1 head-to-head. She’s a tricky player. She has a lot of power, full shots, serve, everything. She can play very well.”
Another American moved into the quarters when the ageless Venus Williams, the No. 13 seed, defeated German qualifier Mona Barthel 6-3, 7-5. Williams in the quarters will meet the equally-powerful No. 24-seeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who upset her No. 8-seeded countrywoman and No. 8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3, 6-3.
“She played well today, so many balls came back,” said the 26-year-old Williams said of Barthel. “I was really challenged to play my best tennis. So wonderful to get to the quarterfinals against an opponent who was on fire.”
Pavlyuchenkova is into her first quarters at the Australian Open.
“I want to do my first semifinals of a Grand Slam or maybe a final,” the Russian said. “I would love to. That’s why I have been working so hard for this moment now. But I have doubles tomorrow, as well. I take it as a practice for the next match. I’m just trying to enjoy the moment and not thinking too much of what’s gonna be ahead of me. Just take it match by match and try to do my best.”
On court in further Round 4 action on Monday are (2) Serena Williams vs. (16) Barbora Strycova, (5) Karolina Pliskova vs. (22) Daria Gavrilova, (30) Ekaterina Makarova vs. (9) Johanna Konta, and the all-unseeded Jennifer Brady vs. Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
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