Svitolina and Ostapenko ease into third round

Jelena Ostapenko

Fourth seed Elina Svitolina and reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko both sailed into the third round of the US Open on Thursday afternoon.

Svitolina continued to look the part as she dispatched unseeded Russian Evgeniya Rodina 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 22 minutes.

Rodina did well to eliminate Eugenie Bouchard in round one, but found herself outplayed by Svitolina, who combined clever tactical play with occasional bursts of power and a sustained level of consistency to get the better of her opponent.

With Rodina unable to impose herself on the match to any significant degree, Svitolina was able to bide her time and make the most of her opportunities.

In the first set, Svitolina needed just one break point in the third game, snaffling it immediately and riding that advantage to a one-set lead.

She then knocked the stuffing out of her opponent in the second set with successive breaks to take a seemingly insurmountable 5-2 lead.

To her credit, Rodina was able to regather one of those lost breaks, but Svitolina did not pass up her second opportunity to serve out the match.

The Ukrainian sealed the deal to love to set up a third round against Daria Gavrilova or Shelby Rogers.

Also advancing was Ostapenko, a surprise French Open winner earlier in the year.

The 13th seed is coming off back-to-back exits in Cincinnati and Toronto, but has looked much stronger at Flushing Meadows this week.

Up against talented Romanian Sorana Cirstea, Ostapenko won 6-4, 6-4, though the victory was harder to come by than the scoreline suggests.

Cirstea proved a tenacious opponent, and forced Ostapenko to save no less than seven break points in the first set, six of them during a marathon eighth game.

Ostapenko weathered the storm to take the first set courtesy of a single break, however, and then took the second by three breaks to two after another fierce battle with the World No 54.

She moves on to face the winner between Daria Kasatkina and Christina McHale for a spot in the round of 16.

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