World number one Pliskova saves match point to beat Zhang

US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 28 Aug-10 Sept
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World number one Karolina Pliskova made a stunning comeback to beat China’s Shaui Zhang and reach the US Open fourth round.

World number 26 Zhang had match point at 5-4 in the second set, but Pliskova turned it around to break and won the next two games to take it to a decider.

The Czech 25-year-old then fought back from 2-0 down in the third to come through 3-6 7-5 6-4.

The top seed will now face either Jennifer Brady or Monica Niculescu.

Pliskova is one of three players who can top the women’s rankings at the end of the tournament, along with Ukrainian fourth seed Elina Svitolina and Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza.

Svitolina faces American Shelby Rogers on Grandstand at about 21:00 BST on Saturday, while Spaniard Muguruza plays on Sunday against Petra Kvitova.

Pliskova looked like she was going to lose top spot in the rankings at match point down against Zhang, before recovering to take the second set.

The Czech had to call for a trainer before the start of the third and received lengthy treatment on her right forearm.

She returned to court and was immediately broken by Zhang, but the 28-year-old was unable to get past Pliskova in the decider.

“I think I improved a little bit after the second set, she got a little bit tight and I felt it. I just stayed in the rallies and got my chance,” said Pliskova, who was a losing finalist at Flushing Meadows last year.

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“I don’t feel calm, especially not now. I’m just trying to stay in the game, stay calm, and don’t panic but I don’t think that was the case today.

“I had real problem with my arm but hopefully nothing serious and I’ll be ready for my next match.”

Elsewhere in the women’s draw, Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic beat Japan’s Kurumi Nara 6-3 6-2.

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