US Open: Victoria Azarenka rallies past Karolina Muchova
Image: Matthew Stockman

Victoria Azarenka continues her remarkable run at the US Open as she came from a set down to defeat 20th seed Karolina Muchova 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 in two hours, 29 minutes in their fourth round match on Louis Armstrong Stadium. After falling behind 4-2 in the opening set, the two-time US Open finalist won 13 of the next 16 games to go up a break in the third set.

Muchova broke back straightaway, but Azarenka got the decisive break in the seventh game and closed out the victory that sees her through to her fifth quarterfinal at Flushing Meadows where she will face 16th seed Elise Mertens, who upset Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin in straight sets.

Azarenka fights past Muchova to reach last eight

Muchova was quick out of the blocks as Azarenka double-faulted on break point to give the Czech the early advantage. A love hold shortly thereafter gave the 20th seed a 3-1 lead. She would soon be up a double break as the Belarusian sent a drop shot into the net. 

Image: Matthew Stockman
Image: Matthew Stockman

She would get one of the breaks back, but Muchova still held her nerve to move within a game of the set and she had a chance to serve for it at 5-4, but a 14-point game that ended when the Czech sliced a backhand into the net to give Azarenka the break back on her fifth chance.

The two-time major finalist couldn't keep the momentum up as she was immediately broken to love, giving Muchova a second chance to serve it out and she did so as Azarenka committed consecutive unforced errors from 30-30 to give the 20th seed a one-set lead.

Each player would have to save a break point in long opening service games of the second set before Azarenka reeled off 16 of the next 19 points to go ahead 5-1. Serving to even the match, a pair of forehand misses by Muchova at 30-30 levelled the contest.

Image: Matthew Stockman
Image: Matthew Stockman

Muchova took a medical timeout to get treatment on her back before the start of the third set and a marathon 16-point third game concluded when Azarenka hit a sizzling backhand that the Czech could only hit into the net. 

She was immediately broken back and after an exchange of holds, the two-time major champion struck a powerful forehand into the corner that Muchova couldn't offer a reply to and she went out in front 4-3. The Czech saved a match point at 5-3, but serving for the match, Azarenka held to love, looping a forehand just inside the line.

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