Victoria Azarenka has reached the US Open quarterfinals for the fourth straight year.
The two-time Australian Open champion beat 46th-ranked American Varvara Lepchenko 6-3, 6-4 on Monday. Lepchenko was in the fourth round at the U.S. Open for the first time.
Azarenka introduced a new fashion statement to Arthur Ashe Stadium: gauze wrapped around both biceps. She joked in an on-court interview that after throwing around a football Sunday — she does it for fun and to help with her service motion — she wanted to look tough like an NFL player.
The real reason was "really a little bit embarrassing," Azarenka conceded. The skin on the inside of her arms had been chafing against her top.
"It's so weird," she said.
Azarenka, who lost to Serena Williams in three sets in the U.S. Open final in 2012 and '13, is seeded just 20th after an injury-plagued season. But now she's into her second straight major quarterfinal, where she will face Simona Halep or Sabine Lisicki.