NEW YORK, NY, USA - No.7 seed Elina Svitolina needed two sets to see off Wang Qiang in the third round and move on at the US Open - equalling her career-best result at the year’s last Grand Slam.
Svitolina was down a break in the second set and had a minor hiccup while serving for the match, but her progress wouldn’t be derailed, emerging victorious 6-4, 6-4 after just over an hour.
Wang, the last Chinese woman left in this year’s draw, ensured that a Chinese woman has reached the third round at the US Open for the third consecutive year after straight sets wins over No.31 seed Magdalena Rybarikova and Irina-Camelia Begu. But she went down early against Svitolina, falling behind a break as the Ukrainian started with a 4-1 lead.
Svitolina had to raise her level as Wang started to mount a comeback, leveling the score at 4-4 putting the pressure back on the No.7 seed’s shoulders. She responded emphatically, ripping returns and firing winners off the forehand wing to break once more and take the opening set.
Wang made the perfect start in the second, converting on her fifth break point after a marathon game to lead 2-0. But once again, Svitolina responded by dialing up the aggression and reeled off three games in a row to take the momentum and get ahead 5-3. She was serving for the match when Wang broke back a game later, but the Ukrainian wasn’t rattled and closed it out to win in straight sets after an hour and 10 minutes on court.
Into the fourth round for the second year in a row, Svitolina will take on the always-dangerous Anastasija Sevastova, who has scored big-name upsets at the US Open over the years. The No.19 seed came back from a set down to oust Ekaterina Makarova, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 earlier in the day.
More to follow...