NEW YORK, NY, USA - No.1 seed Karolina Pliskova was at her imperious best as she overwhelmed unseeded local Jennifer Brady 6-1, 6-0 in 45 minutes to move into the US Open quarterfinals for the second consecutive year.
Striking 23 winners to just nine unforced errors, the Czech was in total command throughout as she exploited her American opponent's movement, frequently taking pace off her usual groundstroke bullets in favour of simply moving the ball around the court and guiding it into the open space.
Brady's first service game was an ominous one, with the World No.91 offering up a wild volley metres past the baseline and a forehand error to get broken off the bat - but even so, she had her chances to keep the match level early on. Pliskova coughed up two double faults in the first game, but saved both of the consequent break points with service winners.
That was to be the American's first and only sniff of a chance in the match: she would win just seven more points in the first set - 14 more in total - and would garner game point in just another two games. A 25-minute opening set in which the US Open debutante was unable to live with either Pliskova's serve or groundstrokes concluded on a double fault.
There was to be no fresh start in the second set for Brady, though. Both women's serves had been the lynchpin of their games heading into the second week, but whereas Pliskova landed an efficient 67% of her first serves - and, even better, won 90% of the points behind it - Brady trailed with a mere 39% first serve percentage. Not that it mattered: even when the 22-year-old got them in, Pliskova was unfazed. Brady would win just four points behind her first delivery in the whole match - and indeed was more efficient behind her second, which garnered her nine points.
The top seed, who needs to win her quarterfinal against either Lucie Safarova or CoCo Vandeweghe to have a chance of retaining her No.1 ranking, was ruthless in speeding through a second set bagel, breaking Brady three times - the final time denying the American from two game points down to seal a dominant display.