NEW YORK – Petra Kvitova erased a pair of match points and converted her fourth to edge Garbine Muguruza 5-7, 6-3, 7-6 (12-10) in a showdown between two-time major champions.
Kvitova reached her first U.S. Open quarterfinal since 2017.
She kept coming back – after dropping the first set, after trailing 5-2 in the third, after being a point from defeat twice at 6-5.
Here’s how close this one was: Kvitova won 109 total points, Muguruza 108.
It took the new format final-set tiebreaker to determine the winner. The four Grand Slam tournaments agreed to adopt a uniform system this year, with the third sets of women’s matches and fifth sets of men’s decided by a first-to-10, win-by-two formula; the U.S. Open used to have the more traditional first-to-seven setup.
Kvitova, a left-hander who won Wimbledon in 2011 and 2014, overcame 12 double-faults with 14 aces and 50 total winners. She improved to 6-1 against No. 9 seed Muguruza, the champion at the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017.
No. 21 Kvitova on Monday will face the winner of the match between No. 8 Jessica Pegula and qualifier Yuan Yue for a berth in the quarterfinals.