After tough victories over Magda Linette, Nicole Gibbs and even a saved match point against Zhang Shuai, world No.1 Karolina Pliskova finally enjoyed an easy ride in the fourth round of the US Open, racing into the quarterfinals with a 6-1 6-0 victory over Jennifer Brady in just 46 minutes on Monday.
The Czech won 92% of points on her first serve, broke the world No.91 Brady’s serve six times and will next face American No.20 seed Coco Vandeweghe, who reached her first US Open quarterfinal by beating doubles world No.1 Lucie Safarova 6-4 7-6(2).
Also making the quarterfinals on Monday is qualifier Kaia Kanepi, currently 418th-ranked player who gained entry into qualifying using special ranking of No.196. The Estonian beat Russia’s Daria Kasatkina 6-4 6-4 to reach her first US Open quarterfinal since 2010. Kanepi’s quarterfinal opponent will be the winner of the match between fourth seed Elina Svitolina and 15th seed Madison Keys.
Quarterfinal pairs determined during Sunday’s fourth-round action: ninth seed Venus Williams vs. 13th seed Petra Kvitova and Sloane Stephens vs. 16th seed Anastasija Sevastova.
No.1 ranking update: In order to extend her reign at the top of the rankings, Pliskova needs to at least defend her last year’s US Open runner-up points, while Elina Svitolina needs to reach the semifinals in order to have a chance at No.1. If it happens that Svitolina and Pliskova meet in the semifinals, that match will decide the new No.1 player. If Svitolina does not reach the semifinals and Pliskova does not reach the final, then Garbine Muguruza, who lost to Petra Kvitova yesterday, will move to No.1 in the rankings following the US Open.
It’s down to Garbiñe and Kaja. I think Kaja has a big chance of winning her first slam.
Sorry, Garbine is out!