Ana Konjuh advanced to the US Open quarterfinals with a 6-4, 6-4 win over fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska. The win marks the biggest of the 18-year-old's career so far and sends her to her maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Konjuh broken early, breaks twice to take the first set
As the roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium was shut, nerves were apparent as Radwanska gained an early break for a 2-0 lead. Konjuh settled down and broke on her second chance in the very next game to get the set back on serve.
After holds by both players brought the score to 3-3, the turning point of the match occurred in the seventh game as the Croat broke after holding four points to take a 4-3 lead. From there, Konjuh held her nerve, serving out the set after another epic game, saving a break point and winning it on her third chance to take the opener 6-4 and with it, a one set lead.
Konjuh breaks late to take the set and with it, the match and a quarter-final berth
With her power seemingly taking its toll, Radwanska had little control of the outcome of the match as Konjuh started to overpower her. The two matched holds, neither player getting to deuce in the first eight games. In the ninth game, Konjuh had 0-40 and after bypassing her first break chance, she took her second for a 5-4 lead.
Now tasked with serving out the match, the teenager stood up to the pressure and held to love to close out the match with an identical 6-4 score as the first and book her date with 10th seed Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals.
Konjuh speaks about her milestone victory
After the match, the Croat spoke to the media and offered these thoughts. "I'm just really happy," Konjuh grinned in her post-match press conference, "I played her in Wimbledon. It was a tough match. This time I took opportunities. You know, I was like, ‘I’m not going to do it here, I’m not going to let the opportunity go.’ I was just going for it. It was the key of the match."
Despite an injury-plagued season, Konjuh, already the youngest US Open quarter-finalist in a decade, will aim to be the youngest Open semi-finalist since Venus Williams in 1997. "It's really a privilege for me to be here, just playing for the finals," Konjuh said. "I'm 18. I won the juniors here. I have good memories. I love the city. I'm just really happy just to have this chance."