Serena Williams and Ashleigh Barty among increasingly strong line-up for US Open last 16

US Open
Serena Williams forehand at US Open

The US Open women’s singles promises to be a tightly fought affair after Serena Williams, Ashleigh Barty, Johanna Konta, and Madison Keys all impressed on Friday.

Williams was in particularly powerful form, requiring just 74 minutes to beat Karolina Muchova 6-3, 6-2.

The 37-year-old is battling for her 24th Grand Slam title, and she believes she is a contender in New York.

“Like I said on the court, I don’t know how I would grade my performance. Just gotta keep playing and believing,” Serena said.

World number two Barty also impressed, taking out Maria Sakkari 7-5, 6-3.

“I think overall today there were parts of the match I was really happy with,” Barty said.

“I feel like a few of the things that I’ve been lacking over the last month kind of came together a little bit today.

“I felt like I served a lot better, controlled the ball off the first strike more often than not. In the bigger moments, I felt like there was some better stuff there.”

Madison Keys, meanwhile, overcame illness to beat her Fed Cup teammate Sofia Kenin 6-3, 7-5.

She will now face an intriguing match-up with Elina Svitolina, who beat Dayana Yastremska 6-2, 6-0.

Karolina Pliskova also advanced, beating Ons Jabeur 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, and she may need to be at her best to advance any further, with next opponent Johanna konta in particularly impress form in her 6-2, 6-3 win over Shuai Zhang.

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