Today will be the third time that No.5 seed Elina Svitolina and No.10 seed Madison Keys have met in the fourth round of a major. Keys won here two years ago 7-6(2), 1-6, 6-4 en route to her first Grand Slam final; Svitolina got her revenge this January 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 at the Australian Open. (Keys also won their New Haven first round in 2015 via retirement to lead the head-to-head 2-1.)
Cincinnati champion Keys is currently on a nine-match winning streak, the longest of her career, is bidding for an eighth Grand Slam quarterfinal berth (and third straight at the US Open). Svitolina, who had never reached more than one major quarterfinal in any individual season prior to 2019, is seeking to reach that stage for the third time this year and sixth overall; so far, the US Open is the only Slam at which she has yet to make the last eight. A win would also mark the first ever Top 10 win on a Grand Slam stage for the Ukrainian.
No.2 seed Ashleigh Barty has yet to lose a set to No.18 seed Wang Qiang in two meetings, both last year, having defeated the Chinese No.1 in the Strasbourg quarterfinals and Zhuhai final. The Roland Garros champion is the only player to have reached the second week at every major this year, whereas Wang is making her debut at this stage, but both are gunning for their first ever US Open quarterfinal. Barty is also 15-1 against Chinese players in her career so far, with her sole loss coming to Peng Shuai 7-5, 7-5 in the first round of Strasbourg 2014.
No.8 seed Serena Williams is 51-8 in Grand Slam fourth rounds, and 15-2 at the US Open. The American, who is the only woman in the Open Era to have won a consecutive hat-trick of US Open titles, has only lost at this stage in 2005 (to Venus Williams) and 2006 (to Amélie Mauresmo). For the the third round in a row, she will face an opponent for the first time: Petra Martic, whose debut in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows means the Croatian has now reached the second week at every Slam.
No.3 seed Karolina Pliskova dominates the head-to-head against No.16 seed Johanna Konta 6-1 - although five of those matches, all except their first and most recent meetings (in an ITF W25 event in Prerov in 2011 and a 6-3, 6-4 win in the Rome final this year), have gone to three sets. On hard courts, the series is tied at 1-1, with Pliskova taking their 2016 Indian Wells fourth round 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3 and Konta gaining her only win in the third round of Beijing that year 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(2).
Konta made her Grand Slam breakthrough at the US Open in 2015 when she reached her first major fourth round as a qualifier, repeating the run the following year - but four years on, it is now the only Slam at which the Briton has yet to reach the last eight. Konta will be aiming for her fifth major quarterfinal and, for the first time in her career, her third in a single season, as well as to become the first British woman in the last eight of the US Open since Jo Durie's 1983 semifinal run. 2016 runner-up Pliskova is seeking to reach four consecutive quarterfinals at a single Slam for the first time.
For the first time ever, two Croatians have made the second week of the US Open. Only one Croatian has reached the quarterfinals here before - Ana Konjuh in 2016. Meanwhile, Elina Svitolina and Wang Qiang are both bidding to become the third players from their country to reach the US Open last eight: previously, Kateryna Bondarenko (2009) and Lesia Tsurenko (2018) reached that stage for Ukraine; while for China, Li Na tallied one quarterfinal finish (2009) and one semifinal (2013), and Peng Shuai was a 2014 semifinalist.
— Carol Zhao 一羽 (@CarolZhao95) September 1, 2019
It doesn’t tho I maybe fix it 10 times during matches hahaha. It consists of a lot of hair ties that’s for sure 😂 https://t.co/EFSbgbRXyo
— Bianca (@Bandreescu_) August 31, 2019
— Taylor Townsend (@TaylorTownsend) September 1, 2019
— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@Naomi_Osaka_) September 1, 2019
ORDER OF PLAY
For full order of play, visit usopen.org.
At this year's US Open, there was as many Czech seeded players as American ones - despite the population of the Czech Republic being 3% that of the USA. Gerald Marzorati, watching Karolina Muchova's all-court game, ponders the reasons for the New Yorker.
Naomi Osaka's empathy for Coco Gauff has shone through this fortnight - and the World No.1 proved that it wasn't mutually exclusive with competition during their third-round match, writes Steve Tignor for tennis.com.
Aryna Sabalenka followed her second-round exit this week with the news of a split from coach Dmitry Tursunov - but, the Belarusian tells David Kane for wtatennis.com, she feels the decision will help her have more success.