NEW YORK, NY, USA - No.8 seed Johanna Konta turned in a poised performance to come through an intriguing test against qualifier Vera Zvonareva in the third round of the Western & Southern Open, powering into her second quarterfinal of the season 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and 20 minutes without facing a break point.

Konta and Zvonareva, both former Top 5 players, had displayed some of the cleanest form of the tournament ahead of their first meeting, both conceding only two games apiece in their second rounds against Kirsten Flipkens and Laura Siegemund respectively. It was no surprise, then, that today's match found both sustaining that in terms of both strong serving - particularly on the second serve - and aggressive baseline play, with Konta's eagerness to pound the ball into any hint of an opening pitted against 2006 Cincinnati champion Zvonareva's effortless changes of direction.

"I think I am pleased with obviously the level I'm playing," assessed Konta of her strong opening rounds. "It doesn't guarantee that every day it's just going to go smoothly. I feel like I'm giving myself the best chance of when it could and will get more difficult, that I'm in a place where I can find a way to compete well and to find solutions to the problems that whichever opponent that I'm playing will be throwing my way. I think I just was able to find those answers for those problems in the last two matches, and maybe my opponents couldn't find any more kind of problems to throw my way, but that's just the way it goes sometimes. Sometimes you do; sometimes you don't."

For much of the first set, little separated the pair. Through the first eight games, only one break point hoved into view - for Konta in the fifth game - but was swiftly snuffed out by the Russian World No.270, whose smooth ballstriking in the early stages was at times reminiscent of her 2010 prime, when she reached the finals of both Wimbledon and the US Open.

But as the set reached its business end, Konta raised her level to pounce. Zvonareva had just about survived a spate of double faults in the seventh game, but at 4-4 the Briton took matters into her own hands, hammering the ball early, towards the lines and out of her opponent's flailing reach to break. A game later, Konta would seal her second set point with another bold second service winner.

"More than anything, just adapting to how she was playing," said Konta afterwards when asked what she was most pleased about. "She's a very tricky player to play, as well. It was quite blustery out there. The wind was definitely moving the ball around. And also, her balls can be quite tricky to adapt to, as well.

"I was happy overall in how I was playing with the conditions out there and my opponent. And really just finding the court and opening the court up, I thought I did that well. I think I also served quite well today, as well, especially under the conditions."

As the second set got under way, Zvonareva paid the price for her game becoming somewhat ragged. Another ill-timed double fault from the 35-year-old brought up a break point in the third game, and Konta took it with alacrity, slamming a forehand crosscourt.

By now, the three-time Grand Slam semifinalist was in full, ruthless flow. Her own serving reached even greater heights, landing 81% of her first serves and winning 88% of those points. Zvonareva was barely able to get a foothold in any given Konta service game - while the former World No.2 found that even upping the pace on her own delivery wasn't enough. Down 2-4, a brace of aces took Zvonareva to a 40-0 lead - only for aggressive returning from Konta to reel her in. Zvonareva's down-the-line changes of direction began to miss, and Konta would capture the double break after a brilliant exchange that saw her eventually pummel through her opponent's finest defences with a crosscourt forehand winner.

Just as in the first set, Konta would only be taken to deuce when serving it out - but the World No.15 would still not be required to face a break point, regaining her accuracy to land another pair of forehand blows to take victory on her third match point. Next up for Konta in the quarterfinals will be either No.3 seed Serena Williams or No.13 seed Maria Sakkari.

2020 Cincinnati Highlights: Jabeur defeats defending champion Keys