In front of a boisterous Court 17 crowd full of American and Brazilian fans, Taylor Townsend of the United States edged No.19 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil 7-6(1), 7-5 on Wednesday, reaching the third round of the US Open.
Townsend took just over two hours to eke out two tightly-contested sets. With the win, the American notches a third-round spot at a Grand Slam event in singles for the first time since her run to the US Open Round of 16 four years ago (her career-best singles performance at a major).
It is the second Top 20 win of the year for Townsend, who is currently ranked No.132 in singles and was the last player to get direct entry into the main draw. Townsend also upset No.3 Jessica Pegula on the clay of Rome earlier this year.
The first set finished with no breaks of serve after this year's Roland Garros semifinalist Haddad Maia saved two set points during a hold for 6-6. But Townsend used powerful service returns to dominate the tiebreak.
In the second set, Townsend garnered the crucial break by using a fierce forehand to force an error from Haddad Maia and take a 6-5 lead. In the following game, Haddad Maia sent a forehand long on Townsend's third match point.
Townsend, who gave birth to son Adyn Aubrey in 2021, is also having a career-best surge in doubles. In the last 12 months, Townsend has won three doubles titles (with three different partners), reached two Grand Slam doubles finals, and reached the Top 5 of the doubles rankings.
In the third round, Townsend will face another player armed with a variety of shots and forecourt skills: No.10 seed Karolina Muchova of the Czech Republic. It will be the first career meeting between Townsend and Muchova.
The newest member of the Top 10 after reaching her first Grand Slam final at Roland Garros and her first WTA 1000 final in Cincinnati, Muchova dispatched Magdalena Frech of Poland 6-3, 6-3 in 1 hour and 18 minutes on Wednesday.
World No.77 Frech dropped serve only a single time in each set, but she never got a chance to try to earn those breaks back. Muchova never faced a break point all day, winning 80 percent of her first-service points, and hitting 23 winners to Frech's 11.
In the same quarter of the draw, No.4 seed Elena Rybakina advanced to the third round via walkover, after last year's quarterfinalist Ajla Tomljanovic withdrew from their second-round match due to injury.