No.5 seed Elina Svitolina is 4-0 against No.16 seed Johanna Konta, having first beaten the Briton 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinals of an ITF 75K event in Eilat in 2013 and most recently 6-3, 6-4 in the third round of Montréal last year. In between, Konta would twice take the opening set - but Svitolina would come back to win 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the 2016 Zhuhai semifinals, and Konta would retire trailing 1-6, 7-6(6), 3-2 in the 2018 Brisbane quarterfinals after coming within two points of victory.
No.8 seed Serena Williams will take on No.18 seed Wang Qiang for the first time; the pair were due to face off in the third round of Miami in March, but a knee injury would force Williams to withdraw. The six-time US Open champion has 24-2 record against Chinese players over her career, with her only losses coming 6-2, 7-6(7) in the second round of Beijing in 2005 to Sun Tiantian and 0-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the second round of Stuttgart in 2008 to Li Na. Meanwhile, Wang is bidding for her seventh career Top 10 victory, having scored her first of the year in the previous round over Ashleigh Barty.
Elina Svitolina and Johanna Konta are both enjoying their best Grand Slam season to date, ticking off several milestones in parallel. Both players have made three major quarterfinals in one season for the first time; both have completed a full house of major quarterfinals after reaching the last eight of the US Open for the first time; and both are bidding to make two Grand Slam semifinals in one year for the first time. Svitolina would be the first Ukrainian to reach the last four of the US Open in history, while Konta would be the first Briton since Jo Durie in 1983 - as well as the sixth active player to reach the semifinals of every major.
Ironically, Elina Svitolina is enjoying her best year on the big stage in conjunction with - so far - her worst title count since she first emerged on Tour in 2012. Over the course of the two previous seasons, the WTA Finals champion would rack up nine titles out of nine finals - a Tour-leading five in 2017, and four in 2018 (behind only Petra Kvitova's five). However, Svitolina would underperform at Grand Slams in comparison, reaching only one quarterfinal in each year. In 2019, though, Svitolina is yet to win a title - or even reach a final so far.
Grand Slam quarterfinal debutante Wang Qiang is bidding to become the fourth Chinese major semifinalist in history, following two-time Grand Slam champion Li Na, two-time semifinalist Zheng Jie and Peng Shuai, whose run to the last four of the 2014 US Open was the last time a Chinese player reached that stage at any major.
Serena Williams is 37-14 in Grand Slam quarterfinals, and 12-3 at this stage at the US Open, with her only three last-eight losses in New York coming to Lindsay Davenport in 2000, Jennifer Capriati in 2004 and Justine Henin in 2007.
None of the quarterfinalists in the bottom half have won a title in 2019 yet. Serena Williams and Johanna Konta are both two-time runners-up (Williams at Wimbledon and Toronto, Konta in Rabat and Rome); Elina Svitolina is a four-time semifinalist (Doha, Dubai, Indian Wells, Wimbledon) and Wang Qiang reached her first semifinal of the season two weeks ago in The Bronx.
Defending champion Naomi Osaka's loss to Belinda Bencic ensures that there will be four different Grand Slam winners in 2019 - the first time in the Open Era that this has happened for three seasons running. 23-time major winner Serena Williams is the only player remaining who has reached a Grand Slam final before.
@Bandreescu_ you are a real one! I had fun tonight ❤️❤️ good luck the rest of the way!
— Taylor Townsend (@TaylorTownsend) September 3, 2019
If there’s one thing I know it’s that I’m stubborn. Fall on my face 18million times and I’m gonna get up 18million times 🤷🏽♀️ just wanted to say I’m probably gonna fall down a couple dozen times in the future but hey, the kid is resilient 😉❤️ love you NY see you next year! pic.twitter.com/Gb2l9G7JgY
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@Naomi_Osaka_) September 3, 2019
ORDER OF PLAY
For full order of play, visit usopen.org.
Belinda Bencic's nascent rivalry with Naomi Osaka is a clash of two players who have been inspired respectuvely by Martina Hingis and Serena Williams, writes Tumaini Carayol for The Guardian.
Ahead of Johanna Konta's first US Open quarterfinal, the Briton's coach Dimitri Zavialoff's philosophy is to instil playfulness rather than fight, writes Simon Briggs for The Telegraph.
The loss of her US Open title may have stung Naomi Osaka - but the Japanese player is learning to take results in stride, and is already looking forward to thriving in the Asian swing, finds WTA Insider Courtney Nguyen.