Konta had struggled with injury before the tour’s suspension and lost her only match since the restart in straight sets prior to the tournament, though had dropped just two games against qualifier Kirsten Flipkens in the previous round. Against Zvonareva she faced another qualifier, with Russian looking sharp with main draw wins over Magda Linette and Laura Siegemund.
The Russian, ranked 270th in the world, reached the final of the US Open at Flushing Meadows a decade ago and would have been looking to continue her inspired form over her past few matches, but could not live with Konta today. The Brit did not face a break point today in a convincing 6-4, 6-2 victory against the two-time Grand Slam finalist.
Konta was on the front foot from the early stages of the match with Zvonareva under pressure on her serve early on in the encounter, with the Russian saving a break point at 2-2. The Russian came under further pressure in her next two service games and Konta eventually managed to break with some aggressive tennis at 4-4; under more pressure than she had previously been on serve, the eighth seeded converted a second set point to take the opener in 47 minutes.
It did not take too long for the Brit to strike in the second set, breaking the former world number two at 1-1 and consolidating for a 3-1 lead as she moved towards a last eight berth. Zvonareva was unable to get close to creating any break back opportunities and, after building a 40-0 lead, was broken for a second time to give the eighth seed two chances to serve out the match. Konta just needed one game to seal a highly convincing victory on Grandstand.
After looking out of sorts in Lexington a fortnight ago, Konta will be incredibly satisfied with how she has played in her opening two matches in New York. The Brit will surely be particularly satisfied with her serving, looking untouchable at times in today’s match against a in-form player, and will fancy her chances against Maria Sakkari or Serena Williams in the last eight.