Pliskova, Vandeweghe, Kanepi advance to the US Open fourth round

Saturday’s third-round action at the 2017 US Open included the continuation of world No.1 Karolina Pliskova‘s sluggish progress, Coco Vandeweghe‘e best ever result at her home Grand Slam, and qualifier Kaia Kanepi‘s spectacular resurgence.

Facing seed No.27 Zhang Shuai, last year’s runner-up Pliskova played down an arm injury and saved a match point at 4-5 in the second set, the set she had started with a 3-0 lead, but the Czech eventually rallied to a 3-6 7-5 6-4 triumph. All Pliskova’s matches this fortnight in New York have been tough, even the opener she won in straight sets, but she’s coming through and the injury doesn’t seem to be anything serious:

I did some recovery and just saw the physios and some ice bath and those stuff. Hopefully it will be fine, it just felt a little bit tight during the match.

American seed No.20 Coco Vandeweghe, whose best previous US Open showing had been the second round, stunned tenth seed Agnieszka Radwanska to advance to the last 16. After orchestrating three-set comeback over fellow American Alison Riske in the first round, winning five of the last six games, Vandeweghe delivered assured serving display to defeat Ons Jabeur in the second round, hitting four aces and winning 86% of points on first serve, and now she’s through the fourth round with a 7-5 4-6 6-4 victory over Radwanska in two hours and 53 minutes.

This year Vandeweghe has recorded her best results at three of four Grand Slams, including her career-best semifinal run at the 2017 Australian Open, quarterfinals at Wimbledon 2017 and now the fourth round of the US Open for the first time ever.

Amazingly, Kaia Kanepi eliminated Japanese world No.45 Naomi Osaka 6-3 2-6 7-5, conqueror of the defending champion Angelique Kerber, becoming only the tenth qualifier in the US Open history to reach the fourth round. The Estonian, currently ranked as low as No.418, is playing only her fourth event this year, and that’s when we include qualifying and ITF tournaments. The reason for this slump are Kanepi’s health issues, the Epstein-Barr virus and plantar fasciitis in both feet. But let me remind you, the 32-year-old is a five-time Grand Slam quarterfinals, including at the US Open in 2010.

 

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