Pliskova, Sabalenka, Swiatek move into US Open quarterfinals

by IANS |

New York, Sep 6 (IANS) Former US Open finalist Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka and world No. 1 Iga Swiatek won their respective Round-of-16 matches to advance to the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday IST.

Pliskova overcame two-time Australia Open singles champion Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and will next meet Aryna Sabalenka, who steered past Danielle Collins of the United States.

No.1-ranked Swiatek lost the opening set to Germany's Jule Niemeier before switching gears to take the next two for a 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 victory.

In a contest involving former world No.1 players, No.22 seed Pliskova overcame No.26 Azarenka 7-5, 6-7(5), 6-2 to secure a quarters berth. The US Open runner-up to Germany's Angelique Kerber in 2016, took a shade over three hours to outlast three-time US Open finalist Azarenka (2012, 2013 and 2020). It was the first meeting between the two tour veterans since 2019. Pliskova now leads their head-to-head 5-4, according to WTA.

Pliskova will next face No.6 seed Sabalenka, who came back from a set down to beat No.19 Danielle Collins 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 to enter her second US Open quarterfinal.

From 2016 to the present, Pliskova has reached the US Open quarterfinals or better five times, with a 26-6 win-loss.

Sabalenka defeated Collins in a game of power hitters. Collins ran through the opening set with 12 winners to eight unforced errors, outpacing Sabalenka's eight winners. In the second set, Sabalenka dug deep into her reserves of energy to hold serve through a 22-point game to lead 4-3. As Collins struggled to find her range of strokes in the first set, Sabalenka stayed steady. She lost just two more games in the match.

Swiatek, after her tough three-setter against Niemeier said, "Honestly at the beginning (of the second set) I felt like I'm just making a little bit less mistakes, but she also started playing less aggressively.

"It was easier for me to just play the ball in. Yeah, I think I started being more solid and I used a little bit more of the chances that I had," added Swiatek.

This is Swiatek's third Grand Slam quarterfinal of the season. She will play No.8 Jessica Pegula of the US on Wednesday.

"I'm just proud that I didn't lose hope. I had a hard time pushing her (Niemeier) back. I'm pretty glad it worked. I used my experience to keep my level the whole match."

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