New York - Karolina
Pliskova saved a match point to defeat China's Zhang Shuai on Saturday
and reach the US Open last 16, hanging on to her world number one spot
in the process.
Top seed Pliskova, the runner-up in 2016, triumphed 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 but
the lanky Czech was forced to save a match point in the 10th game of
the second set and recover from a break down in the decider.
"I was match point down and I thought I haven't tried many forehand
winners down the line. That's what I did. I may not have got another
chance," said the 25-year-old.
"She got tight at the end of the second set, so I just waited for my chances."
Had she lost on Saturday, Pliskova would also have been guaranteed to
lose her world number one ranking to either Wimbledon champion Garbine
Muguruza or Elina Svitolina, both of whom are still in the tournament.
Pliskova will next face either Jennifer Brady of the United States or Monica Niculescu of Romania.
In early men's third round matches, Austrian sixth seed Dominic Thiem
defeated France's Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to make the last 16
for the third time in four years.
Thiem took his record to 6-0 over Mannarino to set-up a last 16 duel
with 2009 champion Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina, who put out
Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 6-3, 6-4.
Germany's Phillip Kohlschreiber eliminated Australia's John Millman
7-5, 6-2, 6-4 and will face Roger Federer if the Swiss star sees off
Spain's Feliciano Lopez later Saturday.
Kohlschreiber has a 0-11 record against Federer.
"I hope Feli wins," smiled the 33-year-old German.
Meanwhile, controversial Italian Fabio Fognini was kicked out of the
US Open for making foul-mouthed comments to a female umpire in his
The 30-year-old lashed out at Louise Engzell with a series of ugly
misogynistic insults during his loss to fellow Italian Stefano
Fognini and compatriot Simone Bolelli had reached the third round of
the men's doubles but tournament organizers have now axed him from the
Fognini, the world number 26, was also fined $24 000.
Later Saturday, world number one Rafael Nadal, the 2010 and 2013
champion, attempts to make the fourth round in New York for a ninth time
when he faces Argentine lucky loser Leonardo Mayer.
Nadal has a 3-0 career record over the world number 59 Mayer, who took the place of injured Milos Raonic in the main draw.
Five-time champion Federer faces Lopez boasting a 12-0 record over
the 31st seed, who is playing in a 16th straight US Open and 63rd
successive Grand Slam.
Federer, bidding for a record sixth title in New York, has struggled
in the first week, needing back-to-back five-setters to defeat Frances
Tiafoe and Mikhail Youzhny.
Russia's Andrey Rublev, who knocked out seventh seed Grigor Dimitrov
in the second round, aims to become the second teenager in the last 16
when he tackles Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia.
Russia's Darya Kasatkina reached the last 16 of a major for the first
time by seeing off French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, the 12th
seed, 6-3, 6-2.
Ostapenko lost 12 games in succession at one stage and the Latvian
needed an on-court visit from the doctor to have her blood pressure
taken in the second set.
Results from day 6 of the US Open on Saturday (x denotes seeding):
Aleksandr Dolgopolov (UKR) bt Viktor Troicki (SRB) 6-1, 6-0, 6-4
Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER x33) bt John Millman (AUS) 7-5, 6-2, 6-4
Juan Martín Del Potro (ARG x24) bt Roberto Bautista (ESP x11) 6-3, 6-3, 6-4
Dominic Thiem (AUT x6) bt Adrian Mannarino (FRA) 7-5, 6-3, 6-4
Karolína Plíšková (CZE x1) bt Shuai Zhang (CHN x27) 3-6, 7-5, 6-4
Lucie Safarova (CZE) bt Kurumi Nara (JPN) 6-3, 6-2
Darya Kasatkina (RUS) bt Jelena Ostapenko (LAT x12) 6-3, 6-2
Kaia Kanepi (EST) bt Naomi Osaka (JPN) 6-3, 2-6, 7-5