Pliskova, Azarenka to clash in battle of former world No 1s and US Open finalists

Karolina Pliskova won against Belinda Bencic 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday night. The former world No 1 is through to the last 16 at the US Open for the sixth time in the last seven years

Karolina Pliskova at the 2022 US Open in New York Karolina Pliskova at the 2022 US Open in New York Image Credit: AI/ Reuters/ Panoramic

Former runner-up Karolina Pliskova is through to the fourth round of the US Open for the sixth time in the last seven years with a three set win over Swiss Belinda Bencic on Saturday evening.

Seeded 22nd this year and a former world No 1, Pliskova came from a set and a break down to beat Bencic, the No 13 seed, 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 in two hours and 28 minutes.

“Even the first set I think I was definitely close to winning”, Pliskova said after the match. “But I was not playing my best tennis. Maybe too slow for her. She was more aggressive. Somehow I changed little bit all of this in the second set. I start to serve much better. After the match was open. But obviously all sets were super close.”

Pliskova and Azarenka to clash for the ninth time

Pliskova, ranked No 22, will play Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, the No 26 seed, next. The pair have met eight times in the past and their head-to-head is tied at 4-4. Monday’s showdown between the two former world No 1’s will be their first since 2019, when they met twice and both players scored one win each.

“Challenging for sure”, Pliskova said. “She’s, of course, great player. She has many up and downs also in her career but she’s super stable at the moment. Hard courts are where I think she’s stronger.

“Similar to Bencic: I have to be aggressive. If she is, then I don’t want to run. The serve is going to be the key. I know she can sometimes serve well, sometimes not so great. I need to take advantage of that. Both much better backhands.”

The Czech had defeated Pole Magda Linette (6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (8)) and Czech Marie Bouzkova (6-3, 6-2) earlier in the tournament.

US Open, New York City (Grand Slam), other third-round results

  • Victoria Azarenka beat Petra Martic: 6-3, 6-0
  • Jessica Pegula (8) beat Yue Yuan (Q): 6-2, 6-7 (6), 6-0
  • Petra Kvitova (21) beat Garbine Muguruza (9): 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (10)
  • Caroline Garcia (17) beat Bianca Andreescu: 6-3, 6-2
  • Ajla Tomljanovic beat Serena Williams: 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-1
  • Liudmila Samsonova beat Aleksandra Krunic: 6-3, 6-3
  • Alison Riske-Amritraj (29) beat Xiyu Wang: 6-4, 3-6, 6-4
  • Coco Gauff (12) beat Madison Keys (20): 6-2, 6-3
  • Shuai Zhang beat Rebecca Marino: 6-2, 6-4
  • Veronika Kudermetova (18) beat Dalma Galfi: 6-2, 6-0
  • Ons Jabeur (5) beat Shelby Rogers (31): 4-6, 6-4, 6-3

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