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US Open: Konta on a roll but Evans falls to Federer

 

Smash hit: Johanna Konta marches on
Smash hit: Johanna Konta marches on

By Andy Sims

British No.1 Johanna Konta made short work of Zhang Shuai to reach the fourth round at the US Open.

The 16th seed equalled her best run at Flushing Meadows after a 6-2 6-3 victory.

Konta took just 54 minutes to dispatch Margarita Gasparyan in their rain-delayed second-round match on Thursday.

And the 28-year-old was in no mood to hang around again, beating Chinese 33rd seed Zhang in one hour and 12 minutes on the Grandstand court.

"They are never clean and straightforward matches, there's always two players on court ," she said.

"There was nothing easy about that match, I had to stay clear on what was happening.

"I strongly believe in the process and progression and I'm constantly trying to grow and get better. I lost two first rounds before this tournament so I'm trying to keep things in perspective."

Konta will meet third seed Karolina Pliskova in the last 16.

Second seed Ashleigh Barty is through after a 7-5 6-3 win over Maria Sakkari of Greece.

Serena Williams joined the Australian in round four after a 6-3 6-2 victory over Czech Karolina Muchova.

Dan Evans blamed some "tough" scheduling after he was rolled over by Roger Federer.

The British No.2 was on the end of a 6-2 6-2 6-1 hiding in just an hour and 20 minutes, the quickest match of the tournament so far.

Evans felt hard done by being first up on Arthur Ashe court, having finished his rain-delayed second-round match against Lucas Pouille less than 24 hours earlier.

There was even a suggestion World No.3 Federer had requested the early slot, but the Swiss angrily said he was "sick and tired" of such claims.

Evans admitted: "He was too good. Obviously I didn't play my best, but he got on top of me early and it was difficult.

"I was fatigued, as well. I thought it was pretty tough I was first up after playing yesterday, if I'm being brutally honest.

"And to try to beat him feeling tired, stiff, playing four sets yesterday, it's near on impossible. But do you think a guy who's my ranking has any say in that?

"There are probably about four people in this tournament who have a say when they play. Maybe three."

It was not difficult to pinpoint which three players Evans was referring to. Federer had, of course, been unaffected by the rain when playing his second-round match under the roof on Wednesday.

But the five-time Flushing Meadows champion said: "I have heard this too often now. I'm sick and tired of it, that apparently I call the shots. The tournament and the TV stations do.

"We can give our opinion. That's what we do. But I'm still going to walk out even if they schedule me at 4 o'clock in the morning."

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