NEW YORK (REUTERS) – Garbine Muguruza pushed past one of the best players to ever grace the Flushing Meadows hardcourts on Friday (Sept 3), taming Victoria Azarenka 6-4 3-6 6-2 to reach the fourth round of the US Open for only the second time.

Muguruza, a Grand Slam winner at the French Open and Wimbledon, has never enjoyed much success in New York exiting in either the first or second round in seven of her previous eight visits.

Azarenka, however, has made a habit of making deep runs at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre.

Only Serena and Venus Williams have won more US Open matches than Azarenka, who has finished runner-up three-times at Flushing Meadows, including last year to Naomi Osaka.

But it was the ninth seeded Spaniard who looked far more poised on a sun-kissed Arthur Ashe Stadium court as Azarenka slowly unravelled. The two-time Australian Open champion committed seven double faults, including one on her last serve to hand Muguruza one final break and the match.

The victory sets up what should be an intriguing fourth round clash between Muguruza and eighth seeded Czech Barbora Krejcikova, who advanced with a 6-4 6-2 win over Russian lucky loser Kamilla Rakhimova.

Last modified: September 4, 2021