World no.1 and the number 1 seed at the US Open, Iga Swiatek overcame a sluggish start to beat Germany’s Jule Niemeier and reach the quarterfinals at the Flushing Meadows for the first time in her career.
The Pole barely looked like the best player in the world in the opening set as a slew of errors put her in a deep hole before recovering to win 2-6 6-4 6-0.
Her troubles increased in the second when Niemeier broke her in the third game of the second set to signal an upset in the making. But Swiatek found her footing soon, winning the next three games before trading breaks with the German to win the second set.
With momentum firmly in Swiatek’s favour, Niemeier’s challenge waned and her errors increased and the French Open champion eased to a 6-0 third set to seal the contest.
Swiatek will face much tougher competition than Niemeier in the next round, in Jessica Pegula, as she continues to end her memorable year with a US Open crown.
Pegula, meanwhile, had another impressive showing against twice Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitová, easing to a 6-3, 6-4 win.
Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka reached the next stage as well with a 3-6, 6-3-6-2 win over home crowd favourite Danielle Collins. She will take on former world no.1 Karolína Plíšková for a place in the US Open semifinals.