Sharapova's US Open ends; Williams faces Kvitova in quarters

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06 September, 2017

Kvitova, who is 10 years younger than 37-year-old Williams, has the edge in head-to-head meetings, having won four of their five previous meetings.

It is Kvitova's best effort at a Grand Slam since she reached the last eight in NY two years ago.

The picture - we can't confirm its authenticity but she has not tweeted an objection - is ostensibly from last December when an intruder entered her apartment and threatened her with a knife till she fought him off but not before receiving deep cuts on every finger.

Muguruza appeared to have re-positioned herself as the new queen of tennis with her Wimbledon title and had raced through her first three matches here. But the mere fact that Petra Kvitova and Venus Williams are playing in a U.S. Open quarterfinal in 2017 is more than enough cause for celebration.

Kvitova outslugged Wimbledon champion Muguruza from the baseline in a come-from-behind 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 victory at Flushing Meadows on Sunday.

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. But six years after she announced her diagnosis with Sjogren's syndrome, an autoimmune disorder that can cause fatigue and pain, Williams is in great position to win the U.S. Open for the first time since 2001-an astounding testament to her remarkable longevity, especially considering physical obstacles she's faced. She added: "The touch is there and the strength and the aggressive game plan". I was glad I was just trying to stay in the rallies.

For Kvitova, just getting back into the game at all was an accomplishment, and she's the No. 13 seed here.

Neither player had dropped a set in the tournament going into the fourth-round encounter, and the 64-minute opener did not disappoint as momentum swung both ways.

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But the Spaniard was so confident, so assured after her brilliant summer and looked to have too much consistency for Kvitova when she eased into a 4-1 lead.

The first match of the Sunday night session on the Arthur Ashe Stadium always guarantees a great crowd.

Gabby also had nothing but praise for her Czech opponent. Nearly at Wimbledon, where she lost the final in straight sets to Murguruza.

Muguruza did not wilt, breaking Kvitova in the opening game of the second set.

But in NY, a loss would mean a much longer lens to view her next Slam opportunity, the Aussie Open, which is five months away.

With the Czech double-faulting twice Muguruza had three break points but was unable to take any of them. She continued to pick on Muguruza's forehand and varying shots to that side. So imagine Kvitova's predicament and her pain and the precision she needs to rediscover.

The 27-year-old, who next plays Venus Williams, said: "It was kind of a dream to come and play on the big stage, one of the top players in the world". 'That was one of the motivations to be back.


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