Britain’s Johanna Konta looked back to full fitness at the US Open as she swept past Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic 6-2 6-1 to reach the last 16.
A semi-finalist at the 2016 Australian Open, the Sydney-born 13th seed Konta never allowed Bencic into the match, hitting eight aces as she matched her best effort in the season’s final grand slam at Flushing Meadows.
“I am just overwhelmingly happy,” said Konta, who collapsed on court midway through her previous match against Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova before recovering to win in three sets.
Former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki has continued her resurgence with a commanding 6-3 6-1 win over Romania’s Monica Niculescu.
The Dane, a US Open finalist in 2009 and 2014 but unseeded this year after being sidelined for two months by an ankle injury, dominated from the start and wrapped up victory in just under an hour-and-a-half.
Niculescu, ranked 16 places above Wozniacki in the rankings at 58th, made life tough early on, particularly with her sliced forehand which is a rarity on the WTA Tour.
“I think it’s fun (to play her) but also a little frustrating because she makes you feel like you can’t play tennis,” Wozniacki said.
“You have to be ready to grind and it’s not pretty but I got a good workout in there. She made me run a lot.”
Wozniacki will face either eighth-seeded American Madison Keys or Japan’s Naomi Osaka in the last 16 and said she needed to continue to play aggressive tennis.
“I just need to step in, hit the ball and just go for it,” she smiled. “Otherwise I have no chance.”
American eighth seed Madison Keys claimed a dramatic 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7-3) comeback win over a tearful Naomi Osaka.
Leading 5-1 in the third set and on the cusp of the biggest victory of her career, 81st ranked Osaka crumbled as Keys swept the next five games en route to a victory that left her stunned 18-year-old opponent fighting back tears.