Karolina Pliskova finally played like her world No. 1 ranking by destroying Jennifer Brady 6-1, 6-0 in just 46 in the opening fourth round match on Arthur Ashe Stadium today at the US Open.
Pliskova, who saved a match point in a tough win over Shuai Zhang, only lost two points on first serve the whole match today.
“My first good match, actually. I think one of the best, even this year,” said Pliskova after reaching her second straight US Open quarterfinal. “The opponent was not the best today. Definitely she can play better than she was playing today. I think she was kind of nervous, and also, with the shadow, I think she just didn’t feel well. That’s nothing change on my game today, so I was feeling great.”
To keep No. 1, Pliskova must make the final. And on Wednesday, she’ll face American CoCo Vandeweghe who knocked out Pliskova’s countrywoman Lucie Safarova 6-4, 7-6. It’s Vandeweghe’s first US Open quarterfinal, and second at a Slam this year after the Australian Open semifinals.
“I think it’s definitely the first strike kind of tennis, I think is the easiest way to simplify it,” Vandeweghe said of facing Pliskova. “If I’m hitting my shots, I’m definitely doing a lot better job in the scoreline than she is and vice versa. So I think it’s pretty much as simple as that.”
Added Pliskova on the matchup, “I guess she just loves the crowd and the big stage, so she’s going to always play well here on center court. It will be tough. I played her last time in Stuttgart, I think, so it was clay, a little bit different story. Obviously she has a big serve. Different match or opposite matches what I had so far this tournament, so it was not many girls which are playing that fast and with that serve and that speed.
I have to prepare. I have a day off tomorrow again, so I will just prepare for it.”
Qualifier Kaia Kanepi reached her first Grand Slam quarterfinal in over four years besting Russian 20-year-old Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-4. Kanepi, who’s missed almost two years of play with plantar fasciitis, is playing her first Grand Slam since the 2015 US Open.
“I didn’t expect this,” said Kanepi who is ranked No. 418. “I hoped to qualify and keep going, see what happened with my tennis. It’s pretty amazing where I am now compared to where I was few months ago. It’s great.”
Into her second US Open quarterfinal, the 32-year-old Kanepi will face American Madison Keys who outslugged No. 4 seed Elina Svitolina 7-6(2), 1-6, 6-4.
Keys overcame a 4-2 deficit in the third to win the last four games of the match to reach her first US Open quarterfinal. The loss eliminates Svitolina in the chase for No. 1.
And Keys joins Sloane Stephens, Venus Williams and Vandeweghe in the quarterfinals.
On Tuesday, the last two Grand Slam champions meet as Venus Williams meets Petra Kvitova under the lights. And in the afternoon, Anastasija Sevastova tries to reach her first career Grand Slam semifinal against Stephens.
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