Two-time Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka booked a place in the quarter-finals of the US Open Sunday while Jennifer Brady and Shelby Rogers lead the American charge by scoring upset wins.
Osaka, the fourth seed, powered past 14th seeded Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 6-3, 6-4 in the late match. The 2018 US Open champion said keeping her emotions in check was key to dominating the 72 minutes match.
“For me it’s very important because it’s quite easy to get down on yourself, especially when you feel like you could have converted so many times,” she explained. “But I just told myself that she’s a great player she’s supposed to hold her serve so yeah just keep pushing.”
Frustration had got the better of Osaka in the previous round when she threw her racquet during a tie-break.
Kontaveit fought hard to hang in the contest, saving five match points before Osaka booked her place in the last eight.
Osaka walked onto the court wearing a facemask emblazoned with the name of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black youth shot and killed by a white neighborhood watch member in Florida in 2012. She is wearing different masks honoring victims of racial injustice and police brutality throughout the tournament. She has already donned face coverings bearing the names of Breonna Taylor, Elijah McClain and Ahmaud Arbery.
She will play 27-year-old Rogers for a place in the semi-finals after the American Rogers fought off four match points to upset sixth seed sixth seed Petra Kvitova.
Rogers, who two years ago wondered if she would ever play again as she struggled to recover from knee surgery, battled into the last eight with a 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 7-6 (8/6) defeat of Czech ace Kvitova in 2hr 40min.
It is only the second time in Rogers’ decade-long career that she has advanced to the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam. She reached the last eight at the French Open in 2016.
Earlier, Brady continued her breakthrough season upsetting Angelique Kerber. Brady, the 28th seed, steamrollered the 2016 champion 6-1, 6-4, to reach her first Grand Slam quarter-final.
Brady broke serve four times and smashed 25 winners against the 17th-seeded Kerber. She won her first career title at Lexington when tennis restarted last month and has not dropped more than three games in a set before this match.
It marked the first time Brady had made the fourth round at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York since 2017.
She had failed to get past the first round in her last two outings. Her previous joint-best appearance at a Grand Slam came when she reached the last 16 of the Australian Open, also in 2017.
Eighth seed Petra Martic was bundled out of the US Open in three sets by Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.
Putintseva, seeded 23rd, moved into the last eight with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 victory in 2hr 37 min on Arthur Ashe.
The Kazakh will play 28th seed Jennifer Brady for a spot in the semi-finals after the American reached her first ever Grand Slam quarter-final earlier on Sunday
Jennifer Brady (USA x28) bt Angelique Kerber (GER x17) 6-1, 6-4
Yulia Putintseva (KAZ x23) bt Petra Martic (CRO x8) 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Naomi Osaka (JPN x4) bt Anett Kontaveit (EST x14) 6-3, 6-4
Shelby Rogers (USA) bt Petra Kvitova (CZE x6) 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 7-6 (8/6)
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