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Pliskova advances to US Open quarters, her fourth

Karolina Pliskova US Open

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Karolina Pliskova US Open

Sep 6, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic serves against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia (not pictured) on day eight of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK – Fourth-seeded Karolina Pliskova mounted a strong defensive effort to send Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova packing 7-5 6-4 in the fourth round of the US Open on Monday, keeping on track her bid for a maiden major title.

The Wimbledon runner-up fired off seven forehand winners and converted on break point in the final game in the first set, before fending off six of Pavlyuchenkova’s seven break point opportunities in the second set inside the Grandstand.

The Czech had lost in the pair’s previous two encounters – in Madrid this year and at the 2020 Australian Open – but would not be denied a fourth trip to the U.S. Open quarter-final as she came out on top in a 14-shot rally on the second-to-last point before breaking Pavlyuchenkova’s serve to close out the match.

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The world number four has put up an astonishing 58 aces so far at Flushing Meadows this year, by far the most of any of the remaining players, and next faces either Greek Maria Sakkari or Canadian Bianca Andreescu in the quarterfinal.

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