Jennifer Brady Books Her First Major Quarterfinal Spot at the US Open
(September 6, 2020) American Jennifer Brady is the first woman to reach the final 8 at the 2020 US Open. Brady, 25 from Pennsylvania stopped No.17 seed, former No. 1 and 2016 champion Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday.
This is the first time that the 28th-seeded Brady has ever reached the quarterfinals of a major.
The former UCLA Bruin needed only 22 minutes to capture the first set from the German. The second set was closer with one game extending to more than 10 minutes.
Brady needed to take a medical time out up 3-2 in the second set to get her upper left thigh treated and wrapped.
“She was making a lot more balls in the second set,” Brady said. “I think maybe I wasn’t as aggressive as I was in the first set. I felt like I came out and played really good tennis in the first set, exactly how I wanted to. I was expecting things to be like that. I wasn’t really surprised.
“In the second set, I started with the break, and then she broke back. But that didn’t really bother me. You know, that game at 4-2, I was able to hold. No, to go 4-2 I was able to hold. That was a pretty big game for me.
“You know, at that point I was, like, okay, just focus on every single point. Each point, one at a time.
“Then when I was returning I got a match point, and I played a little bit defensive. Then, you know, she was able to win that point.
“You know, I tried to just stay present and not focus on the end result. You know, I definitely did want to close it out in two sets, because I wasn’t sure, maybe my leg was bothering me a little bit, I couldn’t serve as well.
“But, you know, I was happy with how I closed it out at the end.”
She has yet to lose a set at this year’s US Open.
The winner of the Lexington tournament last month gives credit to her mental and physical improvement to her rise in the rankings and confidence in her game.
“I think I have improved on both aspects. I have gotten a lot fitter. I’m able to, you know, maintain my intensity from the beginning of the match all the way until the end.”
“I think, you know, having that physicality that I have, the improvement of my fitness I also have, that brings also the improvement of the mental side, as well, knowing that I can play my game at a high level from, you know, the very first point all the way until the end without a dip in my physical abilities.”
Brady has become the first former college tennis player to reach the US Open women’s singles quarterfinals since Gigi Fernandez did it in 1994. Fernandez played for Clemson.
Brady played two seasons at UCLA from 2013-15, earning two singles All-America honors and helping to lead the Bruins to the 2014 NCAA team championship.
“It’s been a rough year so far, 2020,” said Brady. “But, you know, really happy with making the quarterfinals here at the US Open and hopefully I keep going.
Brady will face Yulia Putintseva in her quarterfinal.
Shelby Rogers has become the second American woman to advance to the quarterfinals of the of the US Open when she saved four match points to stun sixth-seeded Petra Kvitova 7-6 (5), 3-6, 7-6 (6) to earn her second berth in a major quarterfinal and her first at Flushing Meadows.
Ranked 93rd in the world the Charleston area native was ecstatic, playing at her first US Open since 2017.
“It feels amazing, ” Rogers said. “Day 72 in the bubble. It’s been a long time here in New York. I’m happy to be sticking around for some more.
“The tiebreaker, the whole match actually, was a little bit of a roller coaster for both of us. The first set, you know, a tiebreak. She upped her level a little bit in the second there. I was up a break in the third, she breaks back. She’s just hitting missiles. She served unbelievable.
“To get that double-fault there in the breaker, a little luck was on my side today I think. I just kept trying to hang in there and defend her balls, take care of my serve there in the third after I got broken.
“Thankfully somehow got it done.”
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— USTA (@usta) September 6, 2020
“I’d like to do one, two better than I did last time at the French Open. It’s nice to be back there. I told myself coming back after injury and quarantine, You can get back to where you’ve been before, you’ve done it, and go even farther.”
Two years ago, Rogers was sidelined with knee surgery that could have ended her career. She returned to the tour at the Charleston event last year,
“I think the low moment was six months after my surgery where I didn’t think I’d be able to play. I wasn’t confident in my knee. I wasn’t able to move like I thought I should. Here I am two years later as fit as I’ve ever been and moving really well.
“I think just sticking with it, trusting the team I had around me, telling me I could do it, sticking with it. But, I mean, at the same time, like, that’s kind of behind me at this point. Starting the year ranked 174, you said, I thought of myself as a higher-ranked player. When I stepped on the court, I didn’t see that number. I felt like I would get back to where I wanted to be if I just kept doing the things that I knew were right, stuck with the process.”
Naomi Osaka, the fourth seed ended the night session with a straightforward 6-3, 6-4 win over 14th seed Anett Kontaveit to reach the quarterfinals.
She never faced a break point in the match and only lost nine points on her serve during the entire match.
She’ll face Shelby Rogers for a spot in the final four.
“I feel like the most important thing that I wanted to do was start being really positive from the get-go, like sort of overwhelm her in a since. I think I did that fairly well. Compared to my last match I played her in Cincinnati, the first game was good, but I was a bit moody. I wasn’t that focused on the match. For me, it was really important, like, the turnaround time and my attitude to be very positive.
“Honestly, I just remember playing Shelby in Charleston. I don’t know, it feels like such a long time ago. I have to definitely watch a couple more matches of hers. I watched her toward the end of the Kvitova match. But I’ll have to talk to Wim about it.”