Pliskova and Nadal into quarter-finals at US Open

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Pliskova had lost to Angelique Kerber in the final at Flushing Meadows a year ago and it should be sure to play again in the final to retain the first rank in the women classification.

Eventually the home crowd had something to cheer as Brady got on the board, having lost the first four games of the match, but it was only a brief success as Pliskova fended off two break openings before taking the set.

Brandon: Pliskova is one of three women still in the race for the world #1 ranking after the completion of the US Open.

On paper, Pliskova's first hurdle to reach the quarter-finals was significantly easier than Svitolina's.

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"I would say the first match was okay".

She made sure she wouldn't have to play from behind again. You don't even know why, but the game improves so much. For my part, I have not offered my best performance.

Pliskova's shot selection was just too good for her American opponent, deep groundstrokes enabling the Czech to approach the net and execute some deft drop shots and leaving Brady frustrated behind the baseline.

Pliskova said: "Today I was much better".

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Pliskova, last year's US Open runner-up, will next face either 37th-ranked compatriot Lucie Safarova or US 20th seed CoCo Vandeweghe to decide a berth in the semi-finals.

The straight-set victory was a welcome reprieve for Pliskova after being pushed to three sets in her previous two matches and fighting off a match point in one of those - a 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory over No. 27 Zhang Shuai.

This time, she took the lead 4-0 against an opponent obviously nervous, and then she won the second round even more uneven.

This would not be a problem for her if she continues playing as she did during his demonstration nearly flawless in the fourth round, not looking like the player who nearly suffered elimination in the previous round. "When you start playing tennis as a kid", she said, "you dream of trophies at the end of the week". But she would not win another game-not just in this set but in the match. "I'm really happy that none of us are playing each other in the quarterfinals", Keys said. But she was, sadly for Brady, at her blistering best in the warm sun of Arthur Ashe. I played her last time in Stuttgart, I think, so it was clay, a little bit different story. Down 2-1 on serve, the American began to force costly mistakes out of the former world number five, and took the last six points of the match, sealing her place in the last eight with an ace.

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Keys and Vandeweghe are trying to join fellow Americans Venus Williams and Sloane Stephens into the women's quarters.

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