New York: Maria Sharapova’s love affair with New York nights continued Saturday as the 2006 US Open champion swept past 10th-seeded Jelena Ostapenko and entered into the fourth round at Flushing Meadows.
Sharapova is now undefeated in 22 night matches at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. After some shaky moments in her first two matches, Sharapova charged through the opening set, aided by 27 unforced errors from 2017 French Open champion Ostapenko. Sharapova next faces Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, who ousted sixth-seeded Caroline Garcia of France 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).
Angelique Kerber’s defeat followed the early exits of World No.1 Simona Halep and No.2 Caroline Wozniacki — who were both also seeking a second Grand Slam title of the year. Fifth seed Petra Kvitova was also ousted, the two-time Wimbledon champion falling 7-5, 6-1 to rising Belarussian star Aryna Sabalenka.
In all just three of the top 10 women made it through to the fourth round, although Kerber didn’t blame a domino effect for her departure. Cibulkova, the 29th seed, moves on to face 2017 finalist Madison Keys, who shook off a slow start to beat Serbian Aleksandra Krunic 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Sabalenka will play Japan’s Naomi Osaka, who crushed Aliaksandra Sasnovich 6-0, 6-0.
Sixth-seeded Caroline Garcia of France also departed, beaten 5-7, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) by Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro, and Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova sprang a surprise, too, with a 7-6 (7/4), 2-6, 7-6 (7/1) victory over 13th-seeded Belgian Kiki Bertens.
Suarez Navarro, seeded 30th, next faces 2006 champion Maria Sharapova, who defeated 2017 French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko 6-3, 6-2.
Vondrousova, through to a Grand Slam third round for the first time, will play Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko, who defeated Czech Katerina Siniakova 6-4, 6-0 after taking out Wozniacki in the second round.