Jennifer Brady maintains sets streak, reaches first US Open quarterfinals

Jennifer Brady maintains sets streak, reaches first US Open quarterfinals

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Jennifer Brady has extended her dominant showing at the US Open and reached the quarterfinals for the first time.

The hard-hitting 25-year-old knocked off Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-4 in the opening match Sunday. The 41st-ranked Brady used her dominant forehand to take control in a 22-minute first set.

Brady has yet to drop a set and has lost only 19 games in her four matches.

For Kerber, it was an abrupt end to a resurgent week. The 2016 US Open champion couldn’t make headway against Brady’s consistently solid serve and groundstrokes.

One of four American women who are still alive in singles, Brady will face Yulia Putintseva, who beat Petra Martic 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 on Sunday, in her first Grand Slam quarterfinal match.

Brady took a medical timeout while leading 3-2 in the second set to get her left leg treated. She returned to the court with her upper leg wrapped and finished the match in 1 hour, 28 minutes — her longest of the tournament.

A former UCLA standout, Brady becomes the first women’s college player to reach the quarterfinals at the US Open since Gigi Fernandez in 1994. Brady also won her first WTA title last month at the Top Seed Open, which was the first professional tennis event in the United States since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Putintseva is her third Grand Slam quarterfinal (2016, ’18 French Open) after her win over Martic.

She threw her racket to the ground after dropping the second set, a moment of frustration that became her turning point. The 35th-ranked player recovered to beat Martic and earn her first berth in a US Open quarterfinal.

Putintseva has been the best in the women’s bracket at breaking serve, and she converted four of nine chances.

Martic took a medical timeout to get her left foot treated and wrapped before the final game of the match. She finished with 39 unforced errors — 14 more than Putintseva.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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