US Open: Ana Konjuh defeats Varvara Lepchenko 2-1

In a display of control and power, the Croat battled her way into her maiden Round of 16 at a major with a three set win over the American.

US Open: Ana Konjuh defeats Varvara Lepchenko 2-1
Ana Konjuh hits a backhand return during her third round victory over Varvara Lepchenko at the U.S. Open/Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
Ana Konjuh
2 1
Varvara Lepchenko

Ana Konjuh reached the Round of 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time in her career with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 win over Varvara Lepchenko.

Konjuh gains early break to take the first set

In a matchup of contrasting styles matching the Croat's power against the American's finesse, it was Konjuh who made a quick start, breaking in the second game for a 2-0 lead. Lepchenko settled in and had a break chance in the third game and three more in the fifth game, but she failed to convert on any of them, resulting in a 4-1 lead for Konjuh. Both players held twice to 15 the rest of the way, resulting in Konjuh taking the opening stanza 6-3 and with it, a one set lead.

Ana Konjuh hits a forehand to Varvara Lepchenko during their third round match at the U.S. Open/Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
Ana Konjuh hits a forehand to Varvara Lepchenko during their third round match at the U.S. Open/Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

Lepchenko rebounds to take the second set, knot the match at one set all

It was clear Konjuh was controlling the match with her superior firepower, but Lepchenko dug in and gained her first break of the match to take a 2-0 lead. Her momentum was short-lived as the Croat broke back striaghtaway. Lepchenko would gain the lead again, battling on Konjuh's serve to break in the sixth game for a 4-2 lead.

After a quick love hold put her on the brink of winning the set, she bypassed a set point on Konjuh's serve, but when tasked with serving it out, did so with little difficulty, taking the middle frame 6-3 to square the match at one set all.

Varvara Lepchenko serves to Ana Konjuh during their third round match in Flushing Meadows/Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
Varvara Lepchenko serves to Ana Konjuh during their third round match in Flushing Meadows/Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

Konjuh runs away with the third set to book her spot in first career Slam fourth round

As she did in the opening set, Konjuh got out to a quick start, bookending holds with a second game break for a 3-0 lead, winning 12 of the first 16 points in the final set. Neither player did much on the other's serve, only reaching 30 once in the four games leading up to the final one and Konjuh finished the match in style, breaking Lepchenko to punctuate a three set win and a date on Labor Day Monday with fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska.

Ana Konjuh serves to Varvara Lepchenko in their third round match at the U.S. Open/Photo: Elsa/Getty Images
Ana Konjuh serves to Varvara Lepchenko in their third round match at the U.S. Open/Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

Revenge on Konjuh's mind

For the second straight major, Konjuh and Radwanska will square off with the Pole edging the Croat 9-7 in the third set of the third round at Wimbledon.  Konjuh served for the match twice and at 7-7, rolled her ankle after stepping on a ball chasing down a Radwanska drop shot.