NEW HAVEN, CT, USA -- No.3 seed Lauren Davis outlasted fellow American Sophie Chang, 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 on Wednesday to claim a spot in the round of 16 at the Oracle Challenger Series New Haven.
World No.73 Davis took a wildcard into the WTA 125K Series event to play her first match since a second-round loss to World No.2 Ashleigh Barty at the US Open last week. Davis survived a strong second set from World No.376 Chang to notch the victory after one hour and 49 minutes of play.
Davis used tremendous groundstroke depth to break Chang twice in a row to open the first set as she garnered an early 3-0 lead. Davis moved to 5-2 from there, where she fired a backhand winner to queue up triple set point, then converted her first chance to take the one-set lead following a wide return by Chang.
However, the powerful game of Chang was in full effect as she stormed back in the second set. The 22-year-old blasted strong service returns to blunt Davis's momentum, and crushed an error-forcing forehand to break her seeded opponent for 3-1. Chang saved two break points before consolidating for 4-1, and she eased to a 6-1 second set from there, leveling the tilt.
Davis was forced to save two break points in the opening game of the decider, but that hold proved to be critical as seven consecutive breaks of serve followed. When the dust settled, Davis was up 5-3, and she had a chance to end the run of breaks by reaching match point with a down-the-line forehand winner off a short Chang return. Davis finally held again, after a long Chang forehand, securing the victory.
In other second-round results, Danielle Lao of the United States advanced to the next round when No.1 seed Margarita Gasparyan of Russia retired from their match while trailing 4-2.
No.2 seed Jennifer Brady picked up a 6-2, 7-5 victory over fellow American Quinn Gleason on Wednesday. Brady won 78 percent of points off of her first serve and notched nearly two-thirds of points off of Gleason's second serve during their clash.
Other seeded players joined Brady and Davis in the third round. No.5 seed Pauline Parmentier of France defeated American Catherine Harrison, 7-5, 6-4, No.6 seed Sara Sorribes Tormo of Spain beat American Jamie Loeb, 6-1, 6-3, No.7 seed Anna Blinkova of Russia overcame Japan's Mayo Hibi, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2, and No.9 seed Astra Sharma beat Ellen Perez, 6-4, 6-4, in an all-Australian affair.
Also, No.11 seed Heather Watson of Great Britain ousted Germany's Anna-Lena Friedsam, 6-4, 6-3, No.12 seed Christina McHale of the United States beat Russia's Valeria Savinykh, 7-6(4), 6-1, and No.15 seed Varvara Lepchenko of the United States outlasted Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
Usue Maitane Arconada of the United States upset No.4 seed Tatjana Maria of Germany, 6-2, 6-2, to claim a spot in the round of 16. Arconada will face former Top 50 player Jana Cepelova of Slovakia, after Cepelova dispatched American Rosalyn Small, 6-0, 6-0. Cepelova won a perfect 21 of 21 points when she got her first serve into play.
Two other Americans upset seeded players: teenager Ann Li defeated No.10 seed Aliona Bolsova of Spain, 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, and Nicole Gibbs knocked out her 14th-seeded compatriot Whitney Osuigwe, 6-1, 6-3. Gibbs, who fell to Simona Halep in three sets in the first round of the US Open while on the comeback trail after salivary gland cancer surgery, will meet her countrywoman Brady in the round of 16.