The 18th seed Qiang Wang had never passed the third round at Majors before this US Open, determined to change that in New York where she defeated the 2nd seed Ashleigh Barty 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 22 minutes. Thus, the 27-year-old Chinese is through to her first Grand Slam quarter-final, taming her shots more effectively and drawing almost 40 unforced errors from the Aussie who played another pale match, far from the level from Roland Garros and Birmingham.
Wang saved all nine break points she faced to mount the pressure on the opponent who struggled badly on the second serve, suffering three breaks to propel Wang into the quarters and hit the exit door, still with a chance of becoming world no.
1 again if Naomi Osaka doesn't defend the title. Settling into a nice rhythm, Qiang broke in the third game after a backhand error from Barty and again two games later when the Aussie sprayed a forehand error, saving two break chances in the next game and closing the opener with a hold at 15 in game eight thanks to a slice error from world no.
2. Barty lost four points in a row at the beginning of the second set to suffer a break, squandering seven break opportunities in games two, eight and ten to propel Wang over the finish line, repelling two match points on serve in the ninth game before the Chinese sealed the deal on own serve in the next game.
The 16th seed Johanna Konta is through to the third straight Grand Slam quarter-final, ousting the 3rd seed Karolina Pliskova 6-7, 6-3, 7-5 in two hours and 20 minutes for the best result at the US Open. The Czech had 16 aces but also nine double faults, hitting 36 winners and 39 unforced errors and scoring three breaks not enough to keep her safe.
Konta fired 45 winners and 36 unforced errors and should have finished the match much earlier, wasting numerous break opportunities in the opener before raising the level in that segment from set number two to cross the finish line first and move into the quarters.
The Briton broke at love in the first game of the match and had numerous opportunities to extend the lead, with Pliskova saving them all staying within one break deficit, hoping for something more on the return in the rest of the set.
Johanna had to pay the price for all the chances she wasted, suffering a break at love in game ten to keep the rival in the set and taking the tie break 7-1 after a backhand crosscourt winner, taking three mini-breaks and a massive boost ahead of set number two.
There, Konta was 3-1 down before starting to make her comeback, breaking back at love with a deep return in game six and forging the advantage with a backhand down the line winner at 4-3 that pushed her in front. The Briton saved a couple of break chances in game nine with some incredible hitting and two winners, clinching the set after a forehand mistake from Pliskova who lost the momentum that was by her side after the opening set.
In the decider, they both held with ease in the first ten games before Johanna grabbed a crucial break in the 11th game following a forehand error from Karolina who had a break point in the next game that could have delivered the deciding tie break, denied by a forehand winner from Johanna.
The Briton moved over the top after another forehand mistake from the Czech, starting a massive celebration of her best result here in New York.