Last month’s Lexington tournament finalist Jennifer Brady shocked three-time Grand Slam winner Angelique Kerber 6-1, 6-4 on Sunday at the US Open to reach her first career quarter-final at a major.

The American who starred in US college tennis, moved ahead over Germany’s 2016 tournament champion at the fan-free, locked-down event in New York.

Brady, ranked 41st, has now beaten six Top-25 players in 2020. 

Jennifer Brady women’s singles match at the 2020 US Open. Photo by Brad Penner/USTA

Brady grabbed the opening set in just 22 minutes, catching Kerber on the back foot, a position from which she never actually recovered.   

The second set was a bit patchier for the home player, with Brady losing an early break but steadying in the face of a Kerber fightback.

The German with 12 career trophies who once stood WTA No. 1 saved a match point on her own serve to hold for 3-5.

But two games later, it was all over, with Brady – who began the match 84 minutes earlier with an ace –  advancing on her second winning chance from Kerber’s forehand return long.

“I feel great, I’m so happy,” the winner said. “I played a spectacular first set, not many errors.

“I tried not to get ahead of myself, I had some pain in my leg but I really wanted to close it out in two sets.

“I came out knowing what I wanted to do and I stuck to my game plan. I played aggressive when possible and tried to stay ahead in the points.

Yulia Putintseva was broken while serving for the match but recovered to post a 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 win against Croat eighth seed Petra Martic.

Martic managed to square the match at a set each despite a slow start and put up a last stand in the third before finally taking the loss.

Two-time Grand Slam quarter-finalist Putintseva reaches one of her best showings at a major a decade after she lost the junior event here and threw a tantrum in defeat.

Yulia Putintseva women’s singles match at the 2020 US Open. Photo by Darren Carroll/USTA

“I had a very good beginning of the match,” the winner said. “Petra wasn’t ready for me to move really quick and not give any free shots. 

“I was there from the beginning.”

A second American went through to the last eight as Shelby Rogers saved four match points in a shock win over sixth seed Petra Kvitova 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(6).

The 93rd-ranked Rogers earned her last-gasp victory over the double Wimbledon winner in a nail-biter lasting two and three-quarter hours.

Kvitova had three potential match-winners late in the final set but could not convert.

The set went into a tiebreaker, with Kvitova double-faulting away on her fourth potential match-winner and Rogers seizing her opportunity to finish it off.

Shelby Rogers in action at the 2020 US Open. Photo by Andrew Ong/USTA

“This is one of the  biggest days of my career’ she had so many aces and winners – I knew it would be tough,” Rogers said.

“There was a lot of emotion – a roller-coaster. But that’s the beauty of tennis.. 

I’m so glad I was able to get through this one.

“I had to stay resilient and fight for every point. I stayed with it and didn’t give up. 

“The wind was swirling around, there were a lot of variables out there. But I trusted myself and believed I could win the match.”

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