Sharapova, the champion in 2006, had won 23 straight matches under the lights, including her previous three contests this year, but Suárez Navarro, on her 30th birthday, clinched a 6-4, 6-3 victory to reach her second quarter-final in New York. It was well deserved for the 30th seed, who next plays Madison Keys, as she drew errors from Sharapova racket and used her flowing single-handed backhand with great effect.
“It will be a really tough match [against Keys]. She is from the United States so the crowd will probably help her,” Suárez Navarro said. “I need to be aggressive ... try to be solid, run and fight. This is the way that I can play really good tennis. I have the character inside, sometimes I have to show more but, well, I’m working on that.”
Suárez Navarro is 10 inches shorter than Sharapova and had won only one of their previous five matches, while her only previous appearance in the last eight here came five years ago.
The fourth-round once again proved the end of the road for Sharapova, who made 38 unforced errors, including eight double faults. The Russian has not reached the quarter-finals in New York since 2012.
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