Angelique Kerber and Caroline Garcia crash out of US Open after third round defeats
Sloane Stephens is only one of the top six seeds remaining; Seven of the top 10 now out
By Paul Prenderville
Last Updated: 02/09/18 6:42pm
At Wimbledon, none of the women's top 10 seeds made it beyond the fourth round, and while we are unlikely to see an exact repeat at this year's US Open another four of the world top 10 fell by the wayside on Saturday.
World no 1 Simona Halep and world no 2 Caroline Wozniacki, major winners already this year, suffered shock defeats in the first and second round respectively and the fourth and sixth-ranked players in the world followed in defeats at the third-round stage.
Kvitova's defeat and Jelena Ostapenko's exit in the night session mean it's now seven of the of the top 10 seeds who are out in New York with Wimbledon champion and 2016 US Open winner Angelique Kerber going down in three sets to the dangerous Dominika Cibulkova.
The pair met in the final of the 2016 WTA Finals and it was Cibulkova who emerged victorious, and she did so again on Louis Armstrong Stadium, coming from a set down in the process.
The Slovakian reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon having been denied a seeded spot by the special dispensation around Serena Williams' return and when she has a point to prove, she is a considerable threat.
So it proved as she battled back from losing the first to Kerber to eventually seal a 3-6 6-3 6-3 success to reach the fourth round of the year's final major for the first time.
Next up for Cibulkova will be last year's runner-up and one of the home favourites in Madison Keys, who was forced to battle a string of errors in a three-set victory over Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic.
The 14th seed was beaten by Sloane Stephens in last year's Flushing Meadow final, her first Grand Slam final and she remained on course for a return by coming from a set down to win 4-6 6-1 6-2.
Keys has enjoyed a strong year in the majors, reaching the quarter-final in Melbourne and the semi-final in Paris but admitted she was not at her best, despite winning 12 of the last 15 games in a topsy-turvy affair.
"I was definitely a little nervous and she came out playing really well and put a lot of pressure on me from the start," she said. "I'm happy to be in the next round."
World no 6 Carolina Garcia is perennially tipped as the next high-profile name to break their Grand Slam duck but it will not be in 2018. The Frenchwomen completed a disappointing year in the majors with another early defeat.
Having not gone beyond the fourth round of any Slam this year, in singles at least she failed to even back it that far, losing 7-5 4-6 7-6 to 30th seed Carla Suarez Navarro for a third successive third-round exit in the US Open - Suarez Navarro will play Maria Sharapova in the next round after the five-time Grand Slam champion produced an imperious display to beat Jelena Ostapenko.
Also into the last 16 is world no 103 Marketa Vondrousova, who turned 19 in June and is the youngest players left in the draw.
Prior to this week the Czech teenager had only won two of her eight Grand Slam singles matches and had never been beyond the second round of a major
But she chalked up a third win of the week to continue her best performance at a major thanks to an impressive 7-6 2-6 7-6 victory over 13th seed and Wimbledon quarter-finalist Kiki Bertens.
Vondrousova will face Lesia Tsurenko for a place in the last eight after Tsurenko beat Katerina Siniakova in straight sets, while Naomi Osaka was a woman in a hurry once again with a 6-0 6-0 victory over Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
The 20-year-old is seeded 20th and has dropped just seven games on route to the last 16, winning her last three sets without losing a game and each of her last two matches in just 50 minutes. She will face in-form Belorussian Aryna Sabalenka who beat fifth seed Kvitova 7-5 6-1.
US Open - Fourth Round Draw
|Kaia Kanepi||v||Serena Williams (17)|
|Ashleigh Barty (18)||v||Karolina Pliskova (8)|
|Sloane Stephens (3)||v||Elise Mertens (15)|
|Anastasija Sevastova (19)||v||Elina Svitolina (7)|
|Carla Suarez-Navarro (30)||v||Maria Sharapova (22)|
|Madison Keys (14)||v||Dominika Cibulkova (29)|
|Aryna Sabalenka (26)||v||Naomi Osaka (20)|
|Marketa Vondrousova||v||Lesia Tsurenko|
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Tennis is back on Sky Sports screens with the Laver Cup in September while we will also have coverage of the ATP Finals in November with every match live on Sky Sports. But first, we will be across the final major of the year in New York as the US Open right through to the final with live blogs, reports, features and reaction.