Battling back after a home-invasion knife attack last December that jeopardized her career, two-time Wimbledon victor Petra Kvitova matched her top US Open performance on Sunday by reaching the quarter-finals. She is also the only one left who has won the U.S. Open, collecting titles in 2000 and 2001. Kvitova has played only 16 matches this year before the Open (54 for Muguruza) and has been relearning how to hold her racket. Even if she misses five metres out, she doesn't care, so it's different. I love being part of them.
But the Spaniard was so confident, so assured after her brilliant summer and looked to have too much consistency for Kvitova when she eased into a 4-1 lead.
"I think Billie Jean King put it best: "Pressure is privilege".
Venus Williams will have to win a third set to return to the U.S. Open quarterfinals for the second time in three years. "It's very unfortunate but at the same time I'm happy to be in the fourth round".
This was the first meeting of the tournament between two grand slam champions and a clash between arguably the two form players of the week.
Kvitova thumps a double-handed backhand return Credit AP
The No. 12 seed won 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) to reach the quarters for the first time in Flushing Meadows and match his best result in a Grand Slam tournament.
The 13th-seeded Czech left-hander, in only her eighth event of the year after hand surgery following a knife attack by a home intruder last December, will play for a semi-final berth Tuesday against seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams. Not only was she hitting well and landing her shots, Kvitova was playing smart tennis. In the quarterfinals, Kvitova will most likely find herself at the Arthur Ashe Stadium for another night session as she will face the legendary Venus Williams. "She has a great timing and a lot of power, for sure".
From that moment on, the Czech was in command, moving 5-3 clear after Muguruza steered a volley long and converting her first set point with a smash. "That's probably why I am playing more relaxed and more freely".
Sharapova was unable to deliver extended stretches of brilliant tennis at the U.S. Open but there was every sign that the 30-year-old is set to climb back up the rankings and reclaim her spot as one of the best paid women athletes. So I don't feel she has changed. "Pretty good performance from her", she conceded. The Russian started out with motivation in her match against Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova, winning the first set 7-5, but then ultimately wilted in the next two sets, going out on Arthur Ashe on Sunday. In the quarters, Carreno Busta will play No. 29 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina, while No. 17 Sam Querrey of the United States takes on No. 28 Kevin Anderson of South Africa.