US Open 2016

Big-hitting teenager demolishes Radwanska

Croatian teenager Ana Konjuh upset No. 4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4 to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time in her career.
Croatian teenager Ana Konjuh upset No. 4 seed Agnieszka Radwanska 6-4, 6-4 to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final for the first time in her career.

NEW YORK • Croatian teen Ana Konjuh avenged a Wimbledon loss with a stunning 6-4, 6-4 upset of fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska on Monday to claim the last women's quarter-final spot at the US Open.

The 18-year-old, who won the 2013 US Open junior title after claiming the Australian Open junior crown, lost her first service game but did not yield serve again in an overpowering performance that belied her world ranking of 92.

She cracked 38 winners, including six aces, against the Pole, who has never gone beyond the round of 16 in five attempts at Flushing Meadows.

The power-hitting teenager, who became the first Croatian woman to reach the quarter-finals at a US Open, was spurred on by a second-round loss to Radwanska at Wimbledon, where she held three match points before falling 9-7 in the third set after stepping on a ball and turning her ankle.

"It's been an incredible night," said Konjuh, who dealt with back and ankle injuries this season that sidelined her for a couple of months. "This time I got revenge, so I'm really happy.

"I'm still young. I still need to experience things. I think I didn't have that many matches as I should. It was tough to come back every time. But, you know, here I am in the quarter-finals of the Grand Slam, so I cannot complain."

Regardless of any lack of experience, Konjuh showed plenty of poise, even when the sound system blared suddenly as she prepared to serve early in the final game.

She kept her nerve, earning match point with a blistering backhand down the line, and sealed the win with a serve that Radwanska could only smack into the net.

"This time I took the opportunities," she said. "I was just going for it. It was the key of the match."

Radwanska accepted she had been outplayed by her opponent. "Sometimes it is difficult when the ball is going really big from the other side. It's hard to control, (to) really put the ball where you want," said the Pole.

The victory lifted Konjuh to a last-eight match against 10th seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, who overcame sixth-seeded American veteran Venus Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) to advance.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 07, 2016, with the headline 'Big-hitting teenager demolishes Radwanska'. Print Edition | Subscribe