Garbine Muguruza cantered into the US Open fourth round with a 6-1, 6-1 demolition of Slovakian Magdalena Rybarikova on Friday to set up an exciting clash with Petra Kvitova. She is also the only one left who has won the U.S. Open, collecting titles in 2000 and 2001. Even if she misses five metres out, she doesn't care, so it's different.
On a women's tour where form is flimsy and a wild card in a crystal-dotted dress has made the most news, we're grateful for Kvitova. Then she lost in the second round at the All England Club, where she was a 4-1 favorite, and has seen the quarterfinal round only once since, at Stanford.
Asked about the similarities in their games, the Czech said: "Obviously I think it's the speed of the shots, but otherwise, I would not really put me and her together". But yet, she looked sharp throughout the week and therefore earned a well-deserved spot in the quarterfinals.
Kvitova admitted to nerves in the final game, where she had to save three break points, roaring herself to victory.
"It was a tough journey that I didn't know how would end".
The weather has been on her side, with none of New York's normal late summer humidity, which has badly affected Kvitova in the past.
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"Sometimes I just really feel that the touch is there - the strength, the aggressive kind of game plan", she was quoted as saying by BBC Sport.
Sharapova, the 2006 US Open victor, has already beaten Halep and Hungary's Timea Babos in her first Grand Slam since serving a 15-month doping ban after testing positive for the blood booster meldonium, at the 2016 Australian Open.
Kvitova - who showed no signs of the severe hand injury she suffered during a horrific home invasion in December - will face Venus Williams in her second last-eight appearance in NY after the ninth seed prevailed against Carla Suarez Navarro.
Kvitova will play seven-time major champion Venus Williams of the United States on Tuesday with a semi-final berth at stake.
"She is a champion and she is playing just wonderful this year", said Kvitova of Williams.
Williams is, at 37, the oldest woman who entered the tournament.
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In Sharapova's first Slam since she tested positive for the banned blood booster meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, she ousted second-ranked Simona Halep in the first round and served notice to any contender her game remains formidable.
After saving match point in her third-round meeting with Zhang Shuai, the world number one needed just 46 minutes to beat Jennifer Brady 6-1 6-0. Serena, seeded No.9, beat Carla Suarez Navarro from Spain 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 earlier on the day.
"Obviously I'm super-excited", USA ninth seed Venus said.
No. 16 seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia ended Sharapova's return to Grand Slam tennis with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 victory to reach the quarterfinals for the second straight year.
Spanish 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta against Argentine Diego Schwartzman will start action on the main arena.
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