Top seeds Angelique Kerber and Caroline Garcia were forced to work hard for their respective second round wins at the US Open on Thursday.
Fourth seed Kerber survived a second set comeback from Johanna Larsson to win 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 on the hard court of Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadows.
The German eased through the opening set in just 36 minutes and found herself 4-1 up in the second set. But some staunch defence from Larsson took it to 5-3 and Kerber actually had two match points in the bag, both of which which Larsson saved as she tried to force the issue. After breaking Kerber, the Swede reeled off the next couple games to force a decider.
Kerber would crunch 13 winners as she ground out the final set to reach the third round.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) 30 August 2018
Waiting for her there is 2017 WTA Finals champion Dominika Cibulkova, who battled past Hsieh Su-Wei 7-6(3)4-6, 6-4 earlier in the day.
Meanwhile, sixth seed Garcia was involved in a marathon third set as she eventually overcame Monica Puig 6-2, 1-6, 6-4. The hour long final set saw the Frenchwoman save no less than six breakpoints late in the set before finally holding serve and breaking Puig in the next game to earn a slender victory.
Elsewhere, fifth seed Petra Kvitova made easy work of Wang Yafan, hitting 27 winners to defeat the Chinese star 7-5, 6-3.
Other selected results:
K Muchova defeated (12) G Muguruza 3-6, 6-4, 6-4
A Sasnovich defeated (11) D Kasatkina 6-2, 7-6(3)
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