Naomi Osaka came from a set down to beat world number one Ashleigh Barty in the China Open final and claim her second WTA Tour title in succession.

Osaka, the champion on home soil at last month's Pan Pacific Open, extended her winning streak to 10 matches with a richly deserved 3-6 6-3 6-2 triumph in Beijing.

The Japanese has endured an up-and-down year but now shapes as the form player heading into the WTA Finals later this month, having earned the second Premier Mandatory title of her career 19 months on from a breakthrough success in Indian Wells.

"I just really wanted to win here, I felt I had something to prove," said Osaka in the on-court presentation.

"Basically I was telling myself to keep fighting even though my attitude was really trash. This is a final, I'm really privileged to be here in the first place, so keep fighting."

Although Barty took the first set on Sunday, Osaka could take plenty of heart from the fact she looked untroubled on serve barring the one game in which she was broken.

Barty saved two break points on her way to winning the opener and a third early in set two, but Osaka's pressure was eventually rewarded as she finally enjoyed success on her rival's serve and levelled the contest.

Another break came Osaka's way at the start of the decider and a subsequent missed chance for Barty, who put a forehand long when she had a chance to get back to 2-2, proved crucial.

Osaka, who ended the long winning run of US Open champion Bianca Andreescu at the quarter-final stage, soon reeled off eight points in a row to open up a 5-2 lead, before converting her second match point to seal victory.

Naomi Osaka's impressive run to the China Open has come despite the Japanese star struggling for sleep.

The two-time grand slam champion made her second consecutive WTA Tour final on Saturday by knocking out defending champion Caroline Wozniacki 6-4 6-2 in Beijing.

Osaka also saw off US Open winner Bianca Andreescu in the quarter-finals and produced another fine display in her semi-final win over Wozniacki despite a short turnaround of under 24 hours between the two matches.

"I haven't slept since before I played Bianca so I did not emotionally prepare," Osaka, 21, said after her 65-minute Wozniacki triumph.

"I just tried to sleep as much as I could and then before I knew it, I had to come back here.

"Don't get me wrong, I love it here, but it's definitely been a bit crazy time-wise.

"I went to sleep at 4:00am, I woke up at 6:00am, so solid two hours, I can't really sleep after my matches. I just feel like my adrenaline's up more during the tougher matches so it makes it harder to sleep."

Osaka won on home soil at the Pan Pacific Open at her last event and has ended two impressive streaks at this premier mandatory tournament.

Wozniacki had won 20 consecutive sets at the China Open dating back to last year's event before losing emphatically, while Andreescu had tasted victory in 17 straight matches before Osaka accounted for her.

In Sunday's final, the Japanese star will meet Ashleigh Barty, the player who took the number one ranking from her after the US Open.

Osaka said: "I just can't make too many unforced errors [against Barty]. For me, she's a consistent power player. She also has a lot of change-up shots.

"I feel like half of what I have to do is not be too crazy on the change-up shots and also try to be the more aggressive player out there.

"This year has definitely been very up and down. Of course Australia was great, everyone knows Europe was terrible for me. 

"The US Open was pretty bad and after that I didn't do anything, took a break, told everyone that I was going to do well here [on the Asian swing]. I kind of promised everyone so I'm trying to pull through on that."

Barty saved a match point before defeating Kiki Bertens in a thrilling final-set tie-break in the first semi-final.

Naomi Osaka dumped out defending champion Caroline Wozniacki to book a huge China Open final against Ashleigh Barty.

Following up on her win at the Pan Pacific Open, Australian Open champion Osaka reached another final by impressively defeating Wozniacki, a two-time winner of this tournament, 6-4 6-2.

She will now do battle with Barty, the player who regained the world number one ranking from her after the US Open, in Beijing on Sunday, bidding for her second career premier mandatory title.

Barty had earlier saved a match point to earn a thrilling 6-3 3-6 7-6 (9-7) victory over Kiki Bertens in a battle lasting two hours and 20 minutes, the Australian reaching her fifth final of 2019.
 

IN-FORM OSAKA ENDS WOZNIACKI STREAK

Osaka fired 30 winners to Wozniacki's 13 and converted three of her five break points as her assertive style proved decisive in a 65-minute victory.

Wozniacki had incredibly won 20 consecutive sets at the China Open dating back to her 2018 victory at the event, but failed to take any of her seven break points as that spectacular run came to an emphatic end.

Osaka saved one of those break opportunities to level a close first set at 4-4 before building on that momentum.

She made the decisive break with a forehand winner down the line in the next game and then held to claim the first set, sealing the opener with a powerful volley.

The second set was more comfortable, as Osaka's momentum continued with a break in the opening game.

Wozniacki had chances, though, with two missed opportunities to break straight back and another going begging that could have prevented her Japanese opponent moving into a 3-1 lead.

Osaka then broke again to move into complete control and an unreturned serve on her first match point soon after finished the job.
 

BARTY 'NEVER BEEN HAPPIER' AFTER EPIC WIN 

Barty had needed three sets to move through her previous two matches and was pushed to the limit again in her semi-final.

Asked about winning the crucial points, Barty said: "That's gone hand-in-hand with adding some new people to my team, trying to work with them behind the scenes.

"Not just for my tennis, it's for my life, my health and wellbeing as well, which has been the best thing. I have never been happier off the court, never been happier on the court. It's been a brilliant time in my life.

"I enjoy those moments. I enjoy when it's tight, when your back's against the wall. That really brings out the fun for me."

The world number one – who had won all four of the previous meetings between the pair - claimed 12 of the first 14 points, breaking in the second game.

That strike was all she needed in order to claim the opening set, as Bertens threatened to recover at 5-3 down only for Barty to eventually convert her sixth set point.

It was Bertens' turn to make a fast start in the second set, though, racing into a 3-0 lead and not conceding a break point en route to levelling the match.

That led to a dramatic final set where both players broke twice, Bertens failing to serve out the match at 5-4 as Barty forced an epic tie-break. 

Barty lost the first three points but recovered to lead 6-5 before being unable to convert a match point on her own serve. Her Dutch rival then missed her chance at victory having moved 7-6 ahead.

The Australian won three straight points from there, sealing victory with her second match point after Bertens sent a backhand return long. 

Naomi Osaka was keen to remind the tennis world of the threat she poses as she ended Bianca Andreescu's stunning winning run in the China Open quarter-finals.

Osaka won the 2018 US Open and started the new year by claiming the Australian Open, moving to world number one, but her season then unravelled with a series of unconvincing performances.

Meanwhile, Andreescu emerged as one of the outstanding talents on the WTA Tour, stringing together 17 consecutive victories that included taking the Flushing Meadows title for her own breakthrough major success.

But Osaka spoiled the party in Beijing on Friday, rallying from a set down to stun her 19-year-old opponent 5-7 6-3 6-4, continuing an impressive Asian swing.

The Japanese won the Pan Pacific Open and is now into the last four of the final Premier Mandatory tournament of the year, with defending champion Caroline Wozniacki up next.

Wozniacki, who has endured a tough year, defeated Daria Kasatkina 6-3 7-6 (7-5) to maintain her hopes of becoming the first woman to win this competition three times.

 

'I'M STILL HERE!'

It appears Osaka was hurt by the public and media response to her tough middle section of the year, now determined to prove her worth again in the final weeks of the season.

"It meant a lot because I feel like people counted me out after the Europe thing," she said, having failed to reach a final on clay or grass. "I still won a slam this year, I won [the Pan Pacific Open].

"I'm still here. But there's a sort of beauty to be underrated."

As well as reaching the semi-finals in Beijing, Osaka also booked her place at the WTA Finals with victory, joining Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep and opponent Andreescu.

 

'LOSING SUCKS!'

Andreescu had not been beaten in a completed match since March and so, quite understandably, was not used to the feeling of coming up short on Friday.

"I forgot how it feels [to lose]," she said. "Honestly, it sucks. I didn't miss it at all. But at least I didn't get whooped one and one. I put up a fight.

"Honestly, it could have went either way. It was just some points here and there. At the same time, I am pissed, but at the same time, I'm proud of myself with how I played today.

"I really fought, especially in that last game. Holy crap, that was crazy."

 

BARTY THROUGH

While many eyes were distracted by the Osaka-Andreescu tussle, world number one Barty advanced in the other half of the draw, beating Petra Kvitova 4-6 6-4 6-3.

This was another superb contest, leading the French Open champion to claim: "From my opinion, that was one of the highest quality matches I played all year.

"Petra always has a way of bringing out the best in me, she really does."

The Australian faces Kiki Bertens next after the Dutch star upset third seed Elina Svitolina in straight sets. "I think I stepped up my game today," Bertens said.

US Open champion Bianca Andreescu's incredible unbeaten run continued as she fought past Elise Mertens at the China Open.

In a rematch of their Flushing Meadows quarter-final, Andreescu survived a second-set fightback from the Belgian to progress to the last 16 in Beijing.

World number one Ashleigh Barty went the distance with Zheng Saisai but powered through in the third set to keep her hopes alive.

Petra Kvitova and Kiki Bertens also progressed along with Elina Svitolina, but Madison Keys was on the wrong end of a stunning turnaround from fellow American Jennifer Brady.

 

ANDREESCU TRIUMPHS IN TOUGH BATTLE

Andreescu trailed 4-1 in the second set with Mertens, who had a set point to force a decider at 5-4.

However, Andreescu saved that before breaking back to force a tie-break, which she edged to complete a 6-3 7-6 (7-5) triumph.

Andreescu is unbeaten in 16 matches and has not lost a completed contest since March.

"Today was more of a battle mentally with myself than anything," the 19-year-old said. "I felt like I was getting very down on myself.

"I expect a lot from myself in general, but I have to realise not everything is going to go the way I want it to."


BRADY TURNS TABLES ON KEYS

Brady trailed by a set and a break against former US Open finalist Keys, but the qualifier produced a remarkable comeback to claim her fourth top-20 win of the season.

She came through 2-6 6-4 6-4 after one hour and 56 minutes, but acknowledged fortune played a significant role in her victory, which sets up a third-round clash with Andreescu.

 "I was just letting her dictate and take control and be the one in charge," said Brady. "I feel like I got a bit lucky with a few points here and there and was able to turn around the match.

"I think it was just mentally, being able to stay in there and fight. Not give in, not look at the score, just stay positive and stay within myself. Look to play my game and be more aggressive, knowing that if I stay in there, things can happen. And they did. I was happy they did."


50 NOT OUT FOR BARTY!

A former cricketer in the Big Bash League, Barty reached her half-century for 2019 as she claimed her 50th win of the year on Wednesday.

She did so with a display of grit that would have been well suited to a long spell at the crease, winning 6-3 6-7 (5-7) 6-2 in two hours and 32 minutes.

The Australian becomes the second woman to reach 50 wins on Tour this year, drawing level with Karolina Pliskova.

Barty will next face Kvitova after the two-time Wimbledon champion overcame Belinda Bencic, while Bertens' reward for beating Polona Hercog is a match with Svitolina, whose three-set win over Sofia Kenin finished well after midnight.

World number one Ashleigh Barty eased into the third round of the China Open with a straight-sets win over Yulia Putintseva.

Barty completed a 6-4 6-2 triumph in an hour and 15 minutes, but was not overly enamoured with a performance featuring 23 winners and seven aces.

"It was solid without being fantastic," the Australian said afterwards. "It was what we needed to do. 

"There were times where it was pretty good and there were times where it was challenging. Pretty happy with how we were able to get on a roll in the second set a little bit there."

Barty came from a set down to defeat Putintseva in Madrid this year but there were no such heroics required of the French Open champion this time around.

Next up, she faces Saisai Zheng, who thrilled the home crowd and stunned 13th seed Sloane Stephens with a 6-3 6-1 victory.

Osaka and Wozniacki dish out punishment

Naomi Osaka continued her dominant recent form as she dispatched Andrea Petkovic 6-2 6-0 inside an hour.

Fresh from victory on home soil at the Pan Pacific Open, Japan's reigning Australian Open champion hit 21 winners to 11 unforced errors en route to a sixth successive win and claimed a phenomenal 91 per cent of points on her first serve.

Defending Caroline Wozniacki was in a similarly uncompromising mood as she saw off Christina McHale 6-4 6-0.

Wozniacki flew out of the blocks, winning five of the first seven games, only for McHale to check her progress by converting a fourth break point of the opener.

The former world number one responded emphatically, however, and McHale did not win another game.

More Kvitova misery for Mladenovic, Kenin and Riske fly the flag for the US

Petra Kvitova will face fellow seed and Venus Williams' conqueror Belinda Bencic after continuing her relentless record against Kristina Mladenovic.

Kvitova prevailed 6-4 6-4, taking her overall record against Mladenovic to 9-1, including three straight-sets victories this year.

"Against Kiki, I always have to play well because she can really play well, and she showed it in this match," Kvitova said. "I'm glad that I served pretty well and that it was a big weapon." 

Despite the punishing losses for McHale and Stephens, 15th seed Sofia Kenin and Alison Riske claimed some success for the United States contingent.

Riske was forced into a decider by Australia's Ajla Tomljanovic and came through 6-3 3-6 6-4.

Despite dropping serve with victory in sight at 5-3 in the third, Riske eventually saw off Tomljanovic in the next game – converting an eighth match point.

Kenin dropped her first two service games but regrouped to beat Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-3 6-2 and faces third seed Elina Svitolina in round three.

Two seeds going no further are Angelique Kerber and last week's Wuhan winner Aryna Sabalenka, who went down in straight sets to Polona Hercog and Daria Kasatkina respectively.

World number one Ashleigh Barty is optimistic a calf injury that hindered her at the Wuhan Open will not be a problem going forward as she prepares for her second-round match at the China Open.

Barty lost in the last four of the Premier 5 tournament to Aryna Sabalenka, who went on to defend her title, and required treatment on her left calf.

The French Open champion has a bye through the first round in Beijing but has not yet taken to the practice court.

However, with the final Premier Mandatory tournament of the season this week and the WTA Finals a month away, Barty is positive about her fitness.

"I haven't been on court yet since my match in Wuhan," she told reporters. "Everything is moving better than expected, so it's good.

"It's just about making sure we do the right things and give it a chance to be ready to go."

Explaining the problem on Friday, Barty had said: "I felt like I had to protect it a little bit. It's important at this time of the year to listen to your body.

"There were certain things I wasn't able to do." 

Defending champion Aryna Sabalenka reached the Wuhan Open final once more with an excellent straight-sets win over world number one Ashleigh Barty on Friday.

Sabalenka improved to 11-0 in Wuhan after her success last year by earning a clinical 7-5 6-4 victory, clinched with a glorious backhand winner from out wide.

"I'm so excited to be in the final, especially here," said the Belarusian, who will play Petra Kvitova or Alison Riske. "It doesn't matter who is going to be there, I'll be there for a fight."

It was a disappointing outing for Barty, who has reached a final and two semis in Wuhan without winning, and she will hope there are no lasting issues after struggling with discomfort in her left calf in the second set.

Barty dropped serve immediately in the first set but then stuck with her opponent and, in a marathon sixth game, broke back, with Sabalenka unsuccessfully claiming a forehand had gone long when halting a rally on break point.

The Australian dictated play for a time, yet Sabalenka wrestled back control with a hold to love and led again when Barty concluded a sloppy service game with an awful, awry slice.

Sabalenka took her third set point following another tussle at deuce, before withstanding more pressure to keep the second on serve early on.

Barty summoned the trainer for treatment on her calf after five games and, although able to continue, a loose game again proved her undoing, the top seed going long to allow Sabalenka to swiftly serve out the match in style.

Ashleigh Barty overcame a stern challenge from Petra Martic to reach the semi-finals of the Wuhan Open for the third year in a row.

The world number one was made to work hard for her 7-6 (8-6) 3-6 6-3 victory, which set up a last-four clash with reigning champion Aryna Sabalenka.

Fellow seed Petra Kvitova enjoyed more serene progress in her straight-sets win over Dayana Yastremska.

But there was a shock in store for the third-ranked Elina Svitolina, who lost to Alison Riske in a surprisingly one-sided encounter.

BARTY BATTLES THROUGH

French Open champion Barty showed her grit to secure a semi-final spot at this tournament once again.

Martic made life tough for the Australian and even shrugged off the disappointment of a first-set tie-break loss to win the second set.

It was in that set that Martic produced some of her best tennis, the Croatian tallying just four unforced errors in a demonstration of clean hitting.

However, when it came to the decider it was Barty who upped her level, dictating rallies with a potent mixture of power and precision.

She will face Sabalenka after the Belarusian also needed three sets to get past Elena Rybakina, triumphing 6-3 1-6 6-1.

SVITOLINA OUSTED BY INSPIRED RISKE

The second semi-final will see two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova take on Riske, when she might have been expecting to meet Svitolina.

Riske made an early statement of intent by winning the first set 6-1 and she wrapped up the match after taking the second 6-3 to leave Svitolina stunned.

It was the American's coolness under pressure that made the difference, Riske fending off four of the five break points she faced to down a player ranked 32 places above her.

Kvitova was similarly dominant in her 6-2 6-4 victory over Yastremska.

There will be no blockbuster semi-final between world number one Ashleigh Barty and Simona Halep at the Wuhan Open after the Wimbledon champion retired from her third-round match with Elena Rybakina.

Halep had been on a collision course with French Open champion Barty in the last four having been placed in the same half of the draw.

However, Halep's tournament came to an end on Wednesday as a back injury forced her retirement when trailing 5-4 in the first set to Rybakina, who will next face defending champion Aryna Sabalenka.

Barty came through in relatively comfortable fashion against Sofia Kenin, but there was a shock in the other half of the draw as Dayana Yastremska knocked out Karolina Pliskova, who can now not claim top spot in the rankings at the end of the week.

BARTY BREEZES THROUGH

A tougher test may have been expected against one of the rising stars of the WTA Tour in Kenin, but Barty needed only an hour and 26 minutes to dispatch the 15th seed 6-3 7-5.

The Australian had been a break down in the second set and saved a pair of set points, avoiding a decider to complete a third win in four meetings with Kenin this season.

Assessing her performance, Barty said: "I can sit here and pick my game apart and be super critical, but I also have to be able to take away the really good stuff, the good times that we've been able to get out of these matches - particularly the last 20-odd points today. I felt like I got on a real run there."

Petra Martic awaits Barty in the quarter-finals after seeing off Veronika Kudermetova in straight sets.


SABALENKA ROARS TO FIRST WIN OVER BERTENS

Sabalenka had never previously beaten Kiki Bertens in four attempts before their meeting in Wuhan, and she appeared in danger of throwing away a commanding position as she let slip a 5-1 second-set lead.

The Belarusian spurned four match points but recovered her composure to save a Bertens set point and win the decisive tie-break. 

Her 6-1 7-6 (11-9) success means Sabalenka has won 15 straight sets in Wuhan, rediscovering her enjoyment of competition after travelling to the recent Zhengzhou Open without coach Dmitry Tursunov.

"The tiger is back," she said. "I'm just playing freely, not afraid of anything and just going for shots. Every time before the match I can't wait to go out and to play, and I'm so happy to feel this again."


YASTREMSKA CLAIMS FIRST TOP 10 SCALP

Teenager Yastremska has enjoyed an excellent 2019, winning titles in Hua Hin and Strasbourg while reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon and the third round at the Australian Open and US Open.

She added to an increasingly impressive resume by stunning second seed Pliskova to claim the first top-10 win of her fledgling career.

The 19-year-old needed only 64 minutes to surge to a 6-1 6-4 win. Yastremska did not drop serve and hit 26 winners to just 15 unforced errors to put Pliskova's hopes of displacing Barty on hold.

Yastremska will face Petra Kvitova for a place in the semi-finals after the two-time champion overcame Sloane Stephens 6-3 6-3. The other quarter-final will see Elina Svitolina take on Alison Riske after their wins over Svetlana Kuznetsova and Wang Qiang respectively.

Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep all progressed on a day of few shocks at the Wuhan Open.

There were occasional scares for the big names, with world number one Barty worked hard by Caroline Garcia, but only Belinda Bencic came up short out of the seeded players.

Elina Svitolina was also triumphant, beating 2015 finalist Garbine Muguruza in straight sets.

 

BARTY GETS REVENGE

​Barty – then playing just her third WTA Tour final, was beaten by Garcia in the 2017 Wuhan championship match – belatedly got her revenge, as top seed, on Tuesday.

It looked for a time as though the Australian might be in trouble again, as she dropped the first set and faced a break point in the first game of the second.

But Barty showed grit to come through that lengthy game, pinching the set at the last and then easing to a 4-6 6-4 6-1 win.

"I had to make some small adjustments in the second set," she said. "[The first set] was just kind of ebbing and flowing a little bit. Caro played the bigger points better.

"It was just about me being a little bit smarter with my serving and trying to be in control in those first couple of points."

 

HALEP LOOKING FORWARD

Halep improved to a 6-0 head-to-head record against Barbora Strycova in a comfortable triumph, 6-3 6-2.

The Romanian said: "It's never easy to play against her, but I'm confident every time because I have a few matches won against her, so it's a good thing for me.

"It's a good start," Halep added. "I'm looking forward to the next one."

Pliskova was also ultimately comfortable against Amanda Anisimova, recovering from being broken in her first service games of either set to beat the dangerous teenager 6-3 6-3.

 

BERTENS, KENIN ALSO RALLY

​​Barty was not the only star required to dig deep on Tuesday, as Kiki Bertens and Sofia Kenin each also came from a set down to progress.

Bertens avoided a shock against Bernarda Pera, winning 3-6 6-4 6-2 to set up a meeting with defending champion Aryna Sabalenka, while Kenin saw off Elise Mertens in three.

Sloane Stephens needed three sets to get through, as did Alison Riske, Petra Martic, Elena Rybakina and Veronika Kudermetova, who upset Bencic 2-6 6-3 6-4 in the final match of the day.

There were wins elsewhere for Wang Qiang, Dayana Yastremska and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Things are getting serious at the US Open.

The women's semi-finals took place on day 11, with the focus firmly on Serena Williams' pursuit of history.

Williams is now a win away from tying Margaret Court's record for grand slam singles titles with her 24th major, the modern-day queen of the court wowing royalty in the stands with a dominant performance against Elina Svitolina.

Omnisport's man on the ground, Nicholas McGee, provides the details in our daily diary from New York.

 

A ROYAL OCCASION ON ASHE

Wimbledon is often graced by the presence of the British royal family, and there was one queen in attendance at Arthur Ashe Stadium to watch Williams rule over the court yet again.

Queen Latifah was a particularly interested spectator during Williams' rout of Svitolina, while Hollywood royalty also looked on.

Oscar-winning filmmaker Spike Lee was in attendance and received a huge cheer from the crowd when the Brooklyn-raised star was shown on the big screen.

BARTY & AZARENKA RACE THROUGH

Ashleigh Barty and Victoria Azarenka have six grand slam titles between them across singles and doubles, but that number could be about to increase.

The experienced pairing reached the women's doubles final by hammering Viktoria Kuzmova and Aliaksandra Sasnovich at Louis Armstrong Stadium. 

Barty and Azarenka lost just one game in the match, which they needed only 56 minutes wrap up in a display that should serve as an ominous sign for Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka and Caroline Dolehide and Vania King, who will meet in the second semi-final.

 

OSAKA GETS WOMEN'S SPORTSMANSHIP GONG

After Diego Schwartzman was presented with the men's sportsmanship award on Wednesday, the US Open confirmed the women's prize had gone to dethroned champion Naomi Osaka.

There could be no more deserving winner, with Osaka's actions following her win over 15-year-old Coco Gauff in the third round winning her plaudits around the world.

OMNISPORT REPORTER ENJOYS SOME PARK LIFE

The lighter schedule that comes with the latter part of the tournament presents the opportunity for some down time.

Our man in New York made the journey from Queens to Manhattan to explore the Big Apple.

Stomping the sidewalks can be tiring, but thankfully New York has plenty of places to take the weight off your feet, with Union Square Park one such laid-back spot.

Statues of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln feature prominently in the park and, though her achievements are of a very different nature, there is a strong chance Williams could join them in being bronzed once she finally hangs up the racquet.

Serena Williams suffered an injury scare as she progressed to the last eight of the US Open with a straight-sets win over Petra Martic.

Though she was broken early in the match, Williams never really looked troubled by Martic as she won her 99th match at the US Open.

That tally is her most at a grand slam, but the 23-time major winner's triumph was not without drama as she rolled her ankle in the second set when going to the net.

Williams had to take a medical timeout but said she felt "good" afterwards, and her spirits will likely have been boosted by the exits of Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova.

BARTY PUTS IT IN PERSPECTIVE

Barty was stunned by Wang Qiang in her fourth-round clash, the second seed making 39 unforced errors in a highly disappointing display.

Wang claimed a 6-2 6-4 win, denying Barty the chance to play Williams in the quarter-finals, but the French Open champion was able to look back on her grand slam season with satisfaction.

"We've had a great season in grand slams for singles. We've made the second week every single one, which has been really special," Barty told a media conference.

"Now we'll sit back, reflect, and look forward to a big couple months to finish off the year."

DOUBLE CELEBRATION FOR SVITOLINA

Elina Svitolina, meanwhile, saw off American Madison Keys in straight sets.

Svitolina is in a relationship with Gael Monfils, who watched on in Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Monfils turned 33 on Sunday, and Svitolina revealed she was inspired by playing on his birthday.

"It's his birthday, I was trying to be really focused on my match but it was extra motivation for me," Svitolina told ESPN on court afterwards.

 

LAST EIGHT IS GREAT FOR KONTA

Johanna Konta outlasted third seed Pliskova in an engrossing match on Louis Armstrong, producing a fine comeback to prevail 6-7 (1-7) 6-3 7-5.

It means the Briton has now reached the last eight of every slam in her career.

Konta is also the first British woman to reach this stage at the US Open since Jo Durie in 1983.

"I'm really pleased [with that achievement]," Konta said at a media conference. 

"I think for me more on a personal level to be able to have made it to the quarters for my third slam in a row, I think that's a really, really big achievement for me. So I'm really pleased with that."

Ashleigh Barty crashed out of the US Open in the fourth round as she suffered a straight-sets defeat to Wang Qiang at Flushing Meadows.

French Open champion Barty had the chance to set up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash against Serena Williams with victory at Louis Armstrong Stadium.

However, the second seed was well below her best in a 6-2 6-4 defeat marked by 39 unforced errors.

Wang, meanwhile, displayed impressive character in reaching her first grand slam quarter-final.

She saved four break points in a 10-minute game to hold for 5-3 in the second set and was required to hold off two more as she successfully served out the win in an hour and 22 minutes.

"I'm very focused on court, I just tried to hit aggressive," 18th seed Wang told ESPN on court afterwards.

Asked if she would be doing her homework by watching Williams' clash with Petra Martic, Wang said: "I think that's my coach's homework. I just want to enjoy now."

Karolina Pliskova survived a scare to keep her US Open hopes alive, while Serena Williams cruised into the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.

Having seen Simona Halep stunningly undone by qualifier Taylor Townsend on Thursday, the fans at Flushing Meadows may have thought another shock was on the cards when Ons Jabeur took Pliskova to a decider.

However, the third seed rallied to reach the last 16, where she will meet Johanna Konta.

Williams enjoyed a more comfortable day at the office in seeing off Karolina Muchova in straight sets and will play Petra Martic after her win over Anastasija Sevastova.

Meanwhile, Madison Keys had her blood pressure taken in her straight-sets win over Sofia Kenin.

 

PLISKOVA NOT SATISFIED

It appeared to be plain sailing for Pliskova when she breezed to the first set 6-1 against world number 62 Jabeur.

However, the Tunisian fought to send the match to a third set, and Pliskova needed over two hours to come through a stern test 6-1 4-6 6-4.

Afterwards, the former world number one made it clear she was not satisfied with her performance.

"You know, just got in trouble maybe more because of me than her," Pliskova said.

"Of course her game is, once you're not feeling great and her game is not super nice to play because she plays kind of everything, I don't even know if she knows what she's playing, and yeah, then was quite difficult.

"In the end, good. It was big fight. Not for sure the best feeling but I won, which is good."

 

KEYS UNLOCKS KENIN

Tenth seed Keys looked set to claim a comfortable win over compatriot Kenin, serving eight aces to take the opening set in 27 minutes.

However, her hopes of returning to the final she reached in 2017 seemed in jeopardy when she had the blood pressure strap on her arm at 3-3 in the second.

Yet she was able to break for a 6-5 lead and withstood pressure from Kenin to serve out a 6-3 7-5 success and set up a fourth-round meeting with Elina Svitolina, who thrashed fellow Ukrainian Dayana Yastremska 6-2 6-0.

"Just not feeling 100 per cent tonight but really glad I was able to get through in two. It would have been a lot trickier if I had to play another set," Keys told ESPN on court afterwards.

KONTA RELISHING PLISKOVA REUNION

When Konta played Pliskova in Rome this year she was on the end of a 6-3 6-4 defeat. However, after thrashing Zhang Shuai 6-2 6-3, the Briton expressed excitement at the chance to avenge that loss.

"I am actually looking forward to seeing how I can do a bit better, how I can just maybe ask some better questions this time around," said Konta.

World number two Ashleigh Barty remains on course for an enticing quarter-final with Williams following her 7-5 6-3 win over Maria Sakkari.

She will next face Wang Qiang, who came back from 3-0 down in the first set to beat Fiona Ferro 7-6 (7-1) 6-3.

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