Johanna Konta produced one of the best performances of her career to stun 26th seed Belinda Bencic in just 52 minutes, winning 6-2, 6-1 to reach the fourth round of the US Open for the second year in a row.
Heading into the match Bencic led their head to head 2-1, winning their most recent encounter on the grass at Eastbourne last year 2-6, 6-0, 6-3. That being said, Konta has risen over 100 places in the rankings since then to move above her at 14 in the world.
Blistering start from the Brit
In the opening game a double fault left the Swiss down 15-30, but the 19-year-old was able to settle her early nerves with a hold. The 24th seed was under further pressure down two break points in the third game, but the Brit was unable to capitalize.
Konta, who collapsed on court due to the humidity in her second round match against Tsvetana Prionkova, did get her reward for the pressure she applied on her opponent’s serve in the fifth game as she crunched a forehand down the line winner to race to 0-40. After a good return of serve, Bencic could only find the bottom of the net as the 13th seed secured the break to love.
That streak resulted in the Brit winning 10 out of 11 points since the third game as she held comfortably once again to move 4-2 in front. Things got no better for the Swiss on serve as Konta bombarded her with fierce ball striking to secure a double break before wrapping up the set on serve 6-2 after 29 minutes, wining 100% of points behind her first serve.
Konta cruises serenely through the second set
There was no let up from the 13th seed at the start of the second, drawing more errors from her 19-year-old opponent as her shots either hit the net or sailed long due to the power and accuracy coming off Konta’s racket. With the break already in hand the Brit swiftly held for a 2-0 lead.
Bencic stopped the rot on serve to get on the board and was trying to hang on as she saved two break points with a well executed drop shot and forehand winner. The young Swiss star saved a third chance but could not deny the Brit a second break of serve as she ripped a backhand down the line return of serve.
Victory looked inevitable for the 13th seed as she fired down her seventh and eighth aces of the match to move 5-1 in front. Konta only needed one more game, closing with a forehand winner to secure a straight sets victory 6-2, 6-1 in just 52 minutes. The British number one will face Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in the last 16.