There was no great escape this time for Madison Keys as a resurgent Caroline Wozniacki locked the eighth-seeded American out of the US Open quarter-finals with a tidy 6-3 6-4 win.
Wozniacki, a US Open finalist in 2009 and 2014 but unseeded this year after being sidelined for two months by an ankle injury, dominated and wrapped up victory in just 78 minutes on Arthur Ashe Stadium court.
“I know that when I play my best I’m tough to beat and I just do my thing,” said the 74th-ranked Wozniacki, who will next meet Latvian Anastasija Sevastova, a 6-4 7-5 winner Britain’s Johanna Konta.
“I’m not surprised that I could make it this far because I always believe in myself and I always think that when I get on court I’ll win the match.”
Wozniacki, who completed the New York City marathon inside three hours, 30 minutes after her loss to Serena Williams in the 2014 final, is back in full stride, as she showed by chasing down every shot that an increasingly frustrated Keys conjured up.
After rallying from a set and a break down in her opening match and then coming back from 5-1 down in the third to beat Japan’s Naomi Osaka, Keys could not find a way past the former world No.1.
“It was nerves a little bit,” admitted Keys. “I definitely felt like I got off to a bad start and then I felt like I was trying to catch up from there.”
Twice a finalist and twice in the semi-finals at the season’s final grand slam, New York is certainly Wozniacki’s kind of town.
The 26-year-old Dane keeps an apartment in New York and calls the city home, sleeping in her own bed during the Flushing Meadows fortnight.
The comfort level has been clearly evident during the first four rounds with Wozniacki dropping just a single set on way to the last eight.
Sevastova, who quit tennis because of injury in 2013, became the first Latvian woman to reach the Open quarter-finals since 1994 when she beat 13th seed Konta.
The unseeded 26-year-old, who defeated third seed Garbine Muguruza in round two, held off a late fightback to reach the last eight of a grand slam for the first time.
Sevastova was out of the game for 20 months until the start of last year, having announced her retirement in May 2013 after a series of injuries.
“It was hard moments for me in 2013,” the 48th-ranked Sevastova said.
“I was injured and not having fun and I was kind of depressed, but now I’m back.”
Earlier, Italian seventh seed Roberta Vinci was first through to the quarter-finals after taming Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko 7-6 (7-5) 6-2.