US Open 2017: Garbine Muguruza sets up clash with Petra Kvitova

Petra Kvitova hits a forehand

She is in the Grand Slam quarterfinals for the first time since the 2015 United States Open.

It is so incredible for Petra Kvitova to reach this quarterfinal less than a year after she was attacked with a knife in her own home and had to undergo surgery on her dominant left hand as a result. Maybe that's why I didn't ever have any expectation to play well here.

"I didn't really play the kind of great players so far in the season when I came back", Kvitova said.

They exchanged breaks to open the third set, but then Williams grabbed control to reel off the next five games, 6-1.

Muguruza is thought by many to be the favorite to win the title (which would take her to the No.1 rankin), and she has done nothing to dissuade in her first three matches. After playing at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, Kvitova is only playing in her eighth tournament of the year at the U.S Open.

Kvitova, who said early in her comeback that she initially she surprised herself with her ability to still hit great shots, said she had now settled into a familiar comfort with her rediscovered abilities.

In December, two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova had her hand slashed when an intruder held her at knifepoint in her apartment in the Czech Republic.

"Given all she's been gone through", Muguruza said, "playing at this level is remarkable". Over all, it's a very good tournament for me.

Muguruza, the reigning Wimbledon champion, led by 4-1 in the first set but struggled to match Kvitova's power on crucial points. "I didn't know how the journey would end".

Rybarikova appeared rejuvenated as she emerged for the second set, pushing Muguruza into saving three break points in the opening game before the pressure finally told and she converted the fourth.

It had, in truth, already been a fairytale story for Kvitova, her return to such form so soon after the attack eight months ago, but this was the cherry on her cake: She has now equalled her best ever run in NY. Kvitova was 4 for 7 on break points and finished with 24 winners, 42 unforced errors, while Muguruza was 3 for 12 on break points and finished with 7 winners, 25 unforced errors.

Muguruza broke to begin the second set, but Kvitova again turned things around quickly.

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