US Open, 🇺🇸🍎🗽🚕 R4 Preview + Prediction:
(1) 🇨🇿 Karolina Pliskova vs 🇺🇸 Jennifer Brady
Karolina Pliskova has made it through to the second week in New York after surviving back-to-back scares. Pliskova was surprisingly pushed to a third set by Nicole Gibbs and Shuai Zhang and will be hoping for a much improved performance when she comes up against Jennifer Brady in the fourth round on Monday at Flushing Meadows. Brady will have other ideas heading into the biggest match of career, the American is into the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the second time in 2017 having never won a Grand Slam main draw match prior to 2017. Brady will enter this fourth round clash with nothing to lose and the New York crowd by her side, will that be enough to push the world number 1?
Karolina Pliskova secured her spot in the fourth round at Flushing Meadows with an epic 3-6 7-5 6-4 win over Shuai Zhang. Pliskova was down 3-6 4-5 with Zhang serving for the match, the world number 1 saved match point in the 10th game of the second set with a huge forehand down the line before breaking to level the set. Pliskova then fended off numerous break points in the next game before breaking to force the match into a deciding set. That could be a stretch of 20 minutes that Pliskova will remember for the rest of her life if she is to go on and win her first Grand Slam title next week in New York.
Jennifer Brady also advanced to the fourth round stage at the U.S Open with an epic third round victory. Brady overcame Monica Niculescu in an extremely tight tussle, a 6-3 4-6 7-6 victory. Prior to that, Brady beat Andrea Petkovic in three sets and dominated Barbora Strycova. Fascinatingly, Brady has now won 6 MD matches at the Grand Slam level in 2017 but is yet to win an MD match at a WTA event.
This will be the first career meeting between Pliskova and Brady. On paper, Pliskova is a huge favourite. However, as we have seen over the last few days anything is possible and I think this will be a reasonably close match. Brady has a deceptively strong game and can motor through service games, meaning this should remain close. Nevertheless, Pliskova is a big step up in opposition, the world number 1 will be very focused and determined heading into this match after her previous troubles at the event. Pliskova is better than Brady in every way, Pliskova has a better serve, better return of serve and greater groundstrokes. Pliskova should win this match in a couple of tight sets.