Marketa Vondrousova's eye-catching move as Ons Jabeur joins shock carnage at US Open

Ons Jabeur and Jessica Pegula joined Iga Swiatek as top-five seeds to crash out of the US Open.

Marketa Vondrousova and Ons Jabeur at the US Open.
Marketa Vondrousova sported some new ink, while Ons Jabeur joined the big guns in crashing out of the US Open. Image: Getty

Jessica Pegula and Ons Jabeur have joined the list of high-profile names in crashing out the US Open earlier than expected, although Aryna Sabalenka and Markata Vondrousova had no such troubles. Just hours after World No.1 Iga Swiatek was dumped out, third seed Pegula and fifth seed Jabeur joined her.

Pegula was dusted in straight sets by fellow American and close friend Madison Keys, while Jabeur suffered more heartache after she was beaten in last year's US Open final. Pegula had been shaping as a potential first-time grand slam champion after winning last month's WTA 1000 Canadian Open.

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But the 29-year-old was dumped out in unceremonious fashion as 2017 finalist Keys recorded a dominant 6-1 6-3 win in just 61 minutes. "It's always tough having to play a friend but we've been doing it our whole lives at this point," Keys said. "When we get on the court it's all business and when we get off the court we go back to being friends."

Keys, the 17th seed, will now face Wimbledon champion Vondrousova in the quarter-finals. Vondrousova recorded a tricky win over unseeded American Peyton Stearns, coming from a set down to win 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 6-2.

Vondrousova made history at Wimbledon in July, becoming the first unseeded woman to win the title at the All England Club. Eagle-eyed fans noticed the tatted-up 24-year-old has added some new ink to commemorate her maiden grand slam triumph.

Tattooed on the Czech player's right arm are the numbers '150723' - the date of the Wimbledon final (15th of July). "I'm very happy," Vondrousova said after advancing to the quarters at Flushing Meadows for the first time. "I actually didn't expect it after Wimby — it was a lot of pressure. We'll see what happens next."

Marketa Vondrousova's new tattoo, pictured here at the US Open.
Marketa Vondrousova's new tattoo (top) marks the date of her Wimbledon triumph. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

Ons Jabeur suffers latest grand slam near-miss

And it was more heartache for Jabeur after a number of near-misses at grand slams in recent years. The Tunisian trailblazer, who has been struggling with flu since arriving in New York, was sent packing in a 6-2 6-4 loss China's Zheng Qinwen.

"Right now I feel just super happy and excited to play in a big stadium. I had a really good performance today," said the 20-year-old Zheng.

Her victory makes Zheng the first Chinese player to make the US Open quarter-finalist since Wang Qiang in 2019. Li Na reached the semi-finals in New York in 2013, while Peng Shuai did the same in 2014.

Sabalenka, who will be the new World No.1 after Swiatek's exit, demolished 13th seed Daria Kasatkina 6-1 6-3. Swiatek's loss means Sabalenka will take over the top spot in the WTA rankings when they are next updated after the US Open.

Qinwen Zheng, pictured here after beating Ons Jabeur at the US Open.
Qinwen Zheng celebrates after beating Ons Jabeur at the US Open. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Carlos Alcaraz and Andrey Rublev advance

In the early men's action, defending champion Carlos Alcaraz was too good for Italian World No.61 Matteo Arnaldi, winning 6-3 6-3 6-4 in one hour and 57 minutes. The 20-year-old from Spain has the chance to become the first man since Roger Federer in 2008 to successfully defend the US Open crown.

"I think the intensity from the beginning until the last ball, I played a really solid match, less mistakes," Alcaraz said after the dominant display. "I'm really happy with the performance in general."

Elsewhere, Russian eighth seed Russian Andrey Rublev advanced with a 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-4 won over Jack Draper. Rublev will face the winner of Alex de Minaur's clash with Daniil Medvedev.

with agencies

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