Yaroslava Shvedova

New York, Sep 4 (IANS) Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova advanced to the US Open tennis fourth round with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over China’s Zhang Shuai.

She will next take on American World No.1 and top seed Serena Williams, who brushed aside Sweden’s Johanna Larsson 6-2, 6-1 here on Saturday, reports Efe.

Shvedova dominated the first set on Court 5, striking nine winners to Zhang’s four, breaking the Chinese player’s serve twice and not facing a single break point.

In the second set, the Kazakh No.52 made life more difficult for herself by putting just 46 percent of her first serves in play, thereby allowing Zhang to win many more points on return and convert two of her five break-point opportunities.

Even so, Shvedova continued to heap pressure on her opponent’s serve and that allowed her to break Zhang’s serve three more times, including the decisive break in the 11th game.

Shvedova then served out the match a game later when Zhang dumped a forehand in the net.

The Kazakh struck 24 winners overall to Zhang’s 11, although she also committed 31 unforced errors, six more than her opponent.

Shvedova also showcased the net game that makes her the world’s fifth-ranked doubles player, winning 22 of her 25 net approaches. Zhang, by contrast, only came forward five times, winning three of those points.

The difficulty level, however, will rise considerably for Shvedova in the next round when she takes on the 34-year-old Williams, a 22-time Grand Slam champion who won Wimbledon earlier this summer and has not dropped more than three games in any set thus far this year in New York.

In other women’s singles results Saturday afternoon, Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro defeated Russia’s Elena Vesnina 6-4, 6-3.

Fifth-seeded Romanian Simona Halep overcame a second-set hiccup to top Hungary’s Timea Babos 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.

Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska cruised past France’s Carolina Garcia 6-2, 6-3 and Croatian teenager Ana Konjuh overcame 30-year-old American Varvara Lepchenko 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

In men’s singles action on Saturday, Argentine Juan Martin del Potro, the 2009 champion, showed more evidence of his return to tennis’ highest level as he handily dispatched Spanish No.11 seed David Ferrer 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, 6-3 to reach the fourth round.

The 27-year-old unseeded Del Potro has undergone several wrist surgeries in recent years that forced him to miss nine consecutive Grand Slam events between 2014 and this summer.

Del Potro will next play Austria’s Dominic Thiem, a 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 winner over Spain’s Pablo Carreño Busta.

Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov also advanced to the round of 16 with a 6-4, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Portugal’s Joao Sousa and will next play the winner of the match between Murray and Italy’s Paolo Lorenzi.

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