20th seed Coco Vandeweghe became the third American women to reach the quarterfinals at this year’s US Open on Monday afternoon, edging past former French Open finalist Lucie Safarova in two tight sets to join Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens in the last eight.
Vandeweghe, who had never reached the second week at her home Grand Slam tournament before this year, was involved in a real battle against Safarova, who certainly had opportunities herself to get herself in contention for the victory, though the American proved too strong as she sealed a 6-4, 7-6(2) victory in an hour and 39 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Against an undoubtedly tricky opponent capable of playing well above her unseeded status, this was an impressive performance from Vandeweghe, who successfully backed up her win over Agnieszka Radwanska with 16 winners and six aces today. She will next face world number one Karolina Pliskova in an intriguing quarterfinal clash.
Vandeweghe powers through as Safarova rues missed opportunities
Safarova certainly had her chances in this match, and potentially could have won both sets, though the Czech will be rueing several missed opportunities as Vandeweghe was able to battle her way through to a third Grand Slam quarterfinal this year, after reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open and the last eight at Wimbledon.
It was the Czech who started the most brightly, looking impressive on her own serve and forcing break point in two consecutive Vandeweghe service games early on, though was unable to take either opportunity and eventually the American began to look more solid on serve, with the score even at 4-4.
With the American serving, Safarova had a break point opportunity to serve for the set, though crucially missed it and seemed a little deflated after that; several poor errors gave Vandeweghe a chance to break, and she took advantage as the first break of the match sealed the opening set.
Perhaps buoyed by the first set, it was Vandeweghe who started the second set brighter, having an opportunity to break for a 3-1 lead, though failed to take advantage and eventually found herself a break down as Safarova finally broke down the American’s resistance in her fourth break point of the match.
However, the Czech failed to capitalize and was immediately broken back, with Vandeweghe becoming extremely solid on serve, though herself held from 15-30 to stay in the match and eventually forced a tiebreak two games later.
It was Safarova who got off to the best start in the tiebreak, securing a mini-break in the opening point, though quickly lost it as Vandeweghe began to sense victory. Down 2-1 on serve, the American began to force costly mistakes out of the former world number five, and took the last six points of the match, sealing her place in the last eight with an ace.