Jennifer Brady produced a fearless brand of tennis to topple 2016 champion Angelique Kerber 6-1 6-4 on Sunday at the United States Open in New York.
The display helped her to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the first time.
Brady appeared firmly in control from the start, opening the campaign with an ace and utilising her monster forehand to break down Kerber’s defence.
A double-fault followed by two errors from Kerber handed Brady a break for a 2-1 lead, with the American eventually closing out the set in 22 minutes.
A medical time-out to get her left thigh taped midway through the second set failed to distract Brady as she fended off two break-points to hold her serve for a 5-3 lead.
She sealed the win with a powerful serve that Kerber returned long.
With spectators banned from the tournament due to the coronavirus pandemic, Brady praised Kerber during an on-court interview in an empty Louis Armstrong Stadium.
“(Kerber is) a great player. She makes you fight for every point,” said the 25-year-old Brady, who clinched her first WTA title last month and has lost only once since the sport returned from the COVID-19 hiatus.
“I came out, I knew what I wanted to do and I’m pretty proud of myself.”
The 25-year-old said her leg was “feeling good” after the match.
“Having that physicality that I have, the improvement of my fitness, that brings also the improvement of the mental side,” she told reporters.
“Knowing that, I can play my game at a high level from the very first point all the way until the end without a dip in my physical abilities.”
Edited By: Chidinma Agu and Olawale Alabi)