US Open: Ostapenko ousted; Pliskova survives

Top women’s seed Karolina Pliskova advanced to the round of 16, coming back from a match point down to beat No. 27-seeded Zhang Shuai of China 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic celebrates her win against Shuai Zhang of China.   -  AP

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko was knocked out of the US Open third round, losing 6-3, 6-2 to Russian Daria Kasaktina after hitting a massive 38 unforced errors on Saturday.

The Latvian 12th seed, who broke into the limelight in June when she blasted her way to the Roland Garros title, got off to a fast start but the unseeded Kasaktina mixed her game with sliced backhands and chopped forehands to slow her opponent down.

The plan worked as after winning the first three games, Ostapenko grew frustrated and bowed out when she netted a backhand on the second match point at the end of a lung-busting rally.

Ostapenko complained of nausea and illness during the match.

“In the beginning I was a little bit nervous but I tried to stay focused and play my game and it paid off,” said Kasaktina, who faces Estonian qualifier Kaia Kanepi for a place in the quarter-finals.

PLISKOVA SURVIVES MATCH POINT

Top women’s seed Karolina Pliskova advanced to the round of 16, coming back from a match point down to beat No. 27-seeded Zhang Shuai of China 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.

Pliskova faced match point at 5-4 in in the second set, but Zhang committed a backhand error and the tall Czech went on to win the game and the second set.

Pliskova, a finalist at Flushing Meadows a year ago, received a trainer massage on her right forearm before returning for the last set. She gutted out that set, coming to the net to swat a cross-court backhand to close out the match.

Pliskova is one of three women still left in the draw Spaniard Garbine Muguruza and Ukrainian Elina Svitolina are the others with a chance to end the tournament No. 1. She next faces the winner of the match between American Jennifer Brady and Monica Niculescu.

SAFAROVA ADVANCES TO FOURTH ROUND

Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova reached the fourth round of the US Open for the second time in four years with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Japan's Kurumi Nara.

Other Results

Jennifer Brady beat Monica Niculescu 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7/3)

Coco Vandeweghe beat Agnieszka Radwanska 7-5, 4-6, 6-4

Elina Svitolina beat Shelby Rogers 6-4, 7-5

Kaia Kanepi beat Naomi Osaka 6-3, 2-6, 7-5