MOSCOW, Russia - No.3 seed Anastasija Sevastova was made to work to equal her career-best winning streak, but ultimately scored her seventh straight victory in the span of a week to reach the quarterfinals of the Moscow River Cup with a 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-4 defeat of Romanian Irina Bara.
The Latvian led 6-2, 3-0, 40-0 in the match against the World No.140, but things grew overly complicated for her before she eventually sealed victory.
The BRD Bucharest Open champion served for the match twice in the second set, but never held a match point, before the Romanian managed to extend the match.
— WTA (@WTA) July 26, 2018
Sevastova nearly pulled off an escape of her own after falling behind 5-1 in the second set tiebreak, as the World No.20 rallied to even the action at 5-5 and looked to seal the match in two sets once again.
Nontheless, an untimely double fault handed the lead back to Bara, and she duly took her opportunity to send the match to a decider.
Bara broke to begin the final set and kept her lead in the set's early stages, but was ultimately denied her first-ever win over a Top 100 player in her eighth career match, and first Top 20 win.
After a lengthy medical timeout when trailing 3-2, as a week-and-a-half's worth of winning tennis caught up to her, Sevastova broke the Romanian and held serve to lead for the first time in the final set.
The 28-year-old's experience proved to be decisive in the decider, however, as Bara was unable to even the scoreboard when she served from behind a second time.
Two errors off the ground early in the point put the lucky loser behind on serve, and Sevastova sealed the two hour, eight-minute victory with a break to love.
“I needed to end the match in two sets, so it's my fault I ended up staying on court for so long," Sevastova said after the match.
"I had a 3-0 lead in the second, had chances for 4-0 and even 5-0, I had to finish earlier, so it’s totally my fault, It will not be good for my injury. We'll see what happens tomorrow. It's not very serious but I already played seven matches and this is hard on your body."
Sevastova broke serve a total of eight times in the win, going 8-for-14 on the chances she held in the match overall.
The No.3 seed was the aggressor for the duration of the match, despite needing to eventually come from behind, as she struck 39 winners to Bara's 21, and also 34 unforced errors to Bara's 18.
The Latvian will next look to extend her unbeaten streak to a career-best eight matches against No.5 seed Aliaksandra Sasnovich, who defeated Evgeniya Rodina, 7-5, 6-2.
Sevastova assessed" “I think she has played very well this year. I lost to her in the first tournament of the year in Brisbane, so I know her game. Today, I watched her match a little bit, she is in a good shape, plays well, and performed great at Wimbledon. I don't know if I have any chances. I think she feels better physically than me. We'll see how I feel tomorrow."