WHAT HAPPENED: Top seed Karolina Pliskova dropped only one game in her 46-minute rout of American Jennifer Brady, 6-1, 6-0, to become the fifth woman to book a ticket to the quarterfinals of the US Open for the second consecutive year.
The world No. 1 hit her stride across all areas of the court Monday morning, winning 92 percent of her first serves, nine of 10 points at net and hitting 23 winners.
Both women had a hard-fought battle just to reach this stage of the tournament, with Pliskova having to come back from a set down in her previous two matches, the toughest of the two against No. 27 seed Zhang Shuai, who held a match point against the world No. 1.
"I really wanted to make the best of the chance I got from the last match, being down match point, so today was much better," Pliskova told the crowd in Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Brady also had a difficult road here, needing three sets to get past Monica Niculescu's unconventional play to reach the fourth round of a major for the first time in her career.
And considering this was uncharted territory for the No. 91 American, not to mention her first time in Arthur Ashe Stadium, it was clear from the beginning that she would have to overcome a serious case of nerves if she wanted to break into the quarterfinals. In fact, her serve was the first to succumb to butterflies, with only 38 percent of first serves falling in during the first set.
Pliskova, on the other hand, looked quite comfortable after having been at this stage and beyond this time last year. She swung freely and played in the zone for much of the match against a listless Brady,
Pliskova vs. Brady
WHAT IT MEANS: Pliskova leads the WTA Tour this season in aces with 379 and remains the US Open leader with 31. She has committed to donating 200 Euros for every ace she hits at the US Open to a children's hospital in her hometown of Prague.
After today's win, Pliskova maintains her undefeated record against Americans in 2017. Her quarterfinal opponent will be the winner of a match between No. 20 CoCo Vandeweghe and Lucie Safarova.
MATCH POINT: After being a point away from being out of the tournament in the third round, Pliskova admitted that she feels like she has been given a second chance at this event. Can she take advantage and take last year's runner-up finish one step further?