Rafael Nadal, Karolina Pliskova ease into US Open quarterfinals
Top seeds Rafael Nadal and Karolina Pliskova eased into the quarterfinals of the US Open with comfortable wins in their respective 4th round matches on Mondaytennis Updated: Sep 04, 2017 23:56 IST
Top-seeds Rafael Nadal and Karolina Pliskova powered their way into the U.S. Open quarterfinals on Monday with comfortable victories in their 4th round matches in New York.
Aiming to win his third US Open title, and 16th career major, men’s top seed Nadal dominated his match against Alexandr Dolgopolov, beating the Ukrainian in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4, 6-1.
Women’s world number 1 Pliskova, on the other hand, overwhelmed American Jennifer Brady 6-1, 6-0 in just 47 minutes.
Two days after having to fight off a match point to advance, Pliskova ran her unseeded opponent off the court as fans were still just filing into the grounds at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The Czech won 22 of 24 points on her first serve, broke Brady’s serve six times and advanced to face either No. 20 CoCo Vandeweghe or unseeded Lucie Safarova.
Pliskova was the runner-up to Angelique Kerber at Flushing Meadows last year and needs to get back to the final in order to remain atop the WTA rankings.
She wouldn’t have much problem if she plays as she did in a nearly flawless fourth-round performance, looking nothing like the player who nearly went home a round earlier.
Pliskova also played the first match on Arthur Ashe Stadium on Saturday. She dropped the first set and had to fight off a match point in the second before rallying to beat No. 27 Zhang Shuai 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.
This time, she raced to a 4-0 lead against an obviously nervous opponent, then won the second set in even more lopsided fashion. She won 25 points to just seven for Brady in the second set.
“I felt like she was playing pretty well today. I didn’t play my best. Maybe I gave her the opportunity to play well,” Brady said.
“But, you know, I think she was hitting her spots and her serves well. She came out playing, I felt, like the No. 1 player.”
Former champions Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro also tried to reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals, while No. 4 Elina Svitolina faced another American opponent in a women’s fourth-round matches.
Federer brings an 11-0 record against No. 33 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber into their night matchup. The top-seeded Nadal faced Alexandr Dolgopolov in the afternoon, starting perhaps a little earlier than expected thanks to the speed of Pliskova’s victory.
The No. 24 seed del Potro faces sixth-seeded Dominic Thiem, with the winner getting Federer if the five-time champion can improve his 31-1 record in night matches at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Svitolina meets No. 15 seed Madison Keys in the nightcap.
Keys and Vandeweghe are trying to join fellow Americans Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens into the women’s quarters.
First Published: Sep 04, 2017 23:29 IST