No.8 seed Petra Kvitova kicked her US Open Series swing into high gear at the Western & Southern Open, easing past former World No.10 Kristina Mladenovic, 6-4, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals.
Kvitova took an early loss to Kiki Bertens last week at the Coupe Rogers, but has looked in fine form in Cincinnati, outlasting 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams on Tuesday and looking even better against Mladenovic, advancing in just under 90 minutes on Stadium 3.
Delayed several hours by rain, Kvitova and Mladenovic took the court for three points only to be chased off by another storm.
Once they returned, the duo exchanged breaks late in the opening set with Kvitova ultimately emerging on top, serving out the set to 15.
The second set began in dramatic fashion, playing an opening game that went to seven deuces and featured six break points before Kvitova broke serve.
That seemed to clinch the momentum for the former World No.2, who raced out to a 5-0 lead and served with a match point.
Mladenovic, a reigning Australian Open women’s doubles champion with Timea Babos, showed she’s still one to over-estimate in singles, breaking back and holding to force Kvitova to try serving it out a second time.
With three more match points at 40-0, the Czech star needed just two to secure victory. In all, Kvitova struck a solid 20 winners to 23 unforced errors, while Mladenovic matched that number in errors but only hit 11 winners.
Up next for Kvitova is either No.15 seed Elise Mertens or US Open champion Sloane Stephens for a spot in the semifinals.