Garbine Muguruza v Petra Kvitova - player profiles
12:17, Sep 6, 2017
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The ninth seed, on a renaissance path as she reached major finals this season for the first time since 2009, faces Czech Petra Kvitova, who knocked out pre-tournament favourite Garbine Muguruza in the previous round three months after coming back from a career-threatening injury.
Muguruza was having a strong season, adding a Wimbledon championship as her second Grand Slam title after winning the French Open past year.
Third-seeded Muguruza needed only 62 minutes to dispatch Slovakian 31st seed Magdalena Rybarikova 6-1, 6-1 to continue her best US Open run and take command of the fight for women's world number one. Kvitova, who is left-handed, wasn't sure she'd be able to hold a racket again.
"I don't have words to describe", she said.
But now she's in the quarters here, and hasn't dropped a set.
Kvitova, 27, admitted to nerves in the final game, where she had to save three break points, before roaring herself to victory. "There's no doubt that not playing those matches certainly cost me today". Muguruza saved one match point in holding serve to trail 5-3 but was unable to capitalise when Kvitova tightened up as she served for the match in the following game.
"It will be a great match for me to step on Arthur Ashe Stadium again-probably-and play there", said Kvitova about her quarterfinal with the 37 year-old. His loss means there will be a first-time Grand Slam finalist this year from the bottom half of the draw.
The Czech star reached the quarter-finals in NY for the second time in three years after a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 win over third seed Muguruza on Sunday.
Playing in only her eighth tournament this year, Kvitova could be short of match practice but not confidence at the U.S. Open.
All three 2017 Grand Slam champs - Serena Williams, Jelena Ostepenko and Garbine Muguruza - are absent from quarterfinals and story after story laments the lack of drama remaining on the women's side of the final Slam of the year.
On Sunday she hit nine double faults yet her first serve on average was 14kmh faster than the Spaniard's.
Most sport has become methodical and played according to a very particular grammar, but Kvitova's tennis still retains an originality.
The two-time Wimbledon victor, who has never progressed beyond the quarters at Flushing Meadows, will now face 37-year-old Venus Williams for a place in the semi-final. She said her hand is not yet fully healed but has come far enough for her to produce formidable performances.
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