Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has set up a mouth-watering quarter-final clash against seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams after defeating pre-tournament favorite Garbine Muguruza in straight sets on Sunday at the ongoing US Open.
Muguruza remains ahead in a three-woman fight for world number one after the US Open but can be overtaken by Czech current number one Karolina Pliskova if she makes the final or Ukraine fourth seed Elina Svitolina if she reaches the semi-finals.
In December of past year Kvitova, the two-time Wimbledon champion, was attacked at her home in the Czech Republic by a knife-wielding robber.
The two-time Wimbledon victor, who has never progressed beyond the quarters at Flushing Meadows, will now face 37-year-old Venus Williams for a place in the semi-final.
"I think she was serving very good". "I don't really have the best ranking, but on the other hand I know I can play well, which I showed today". Kvitova was the more powerful player, standing 6-foot and with a strong southpaw serve, but she got just 55 percent of her first serves in and made 42 unforced errors. In the key moments, she finds big serves.More news: Merkel's challenger gets his one chance to shine in German election campaign
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"I'm taking every match as a final here", Muguruza said. Only Karolina Pliskova and Elina Svitolina can deny the 2016 Roland Garros victor from reaching the top spot for the first time in her career. All five months were very tough.
"I think it's incredible that she's playing at this level", Muguruza said. "To be able to be out there and execute things that I wanted, it was a good feeling".
"What she has gone through is unimaginable, unreasonable", Williams said. Kvitova especially dominated on the forehand, hitting 12 such winners to just two for Muguruza. After playing at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, Kvitova is only playing in her eighth tournament of the year at the U.S Open.
She is in the Grand Slam quarterfinals for the first time since the 2015 United States Open. "To be able to come out here and do what she needs to do, to clear her head, it's such a lovely thing to see".