NEW YORK: Czech Petra Kvitova struggled with unforced errors but still had enough weapons to defeat American Jessica Pegula 6-4 6-3 on Friday to advance to the fourth round of the US Open.
The two-times Wimbledon champion had 28 unforced errors and five double faults but moved up a gear when it mattered to win her first career meeting with baseline battler Pegula.
Sixth seed Kvitova broke the world No. 63 twice in each set and completed the win when Pegula sent a return wide.
Next up for Kvitova will be another American in Shelby Rogers, who earlier advanced with a 6-2 6-4 win against compatriot Madison Brengle.
The US Open is the only Grand Slam event where Kvitova has failed to reach the semi-finals.
Croatian Borna Coric saved six match points as he rallied from 5-1 down in the fourth set to stun Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7(2) 6-4 4-6 7-5 7-6(4) and send the fourth seed tumbling out of the US Open in the third round on Friday.
In the sort of late drama that would on any other year have had the Flushing Meadows crowd baying for more, Coric looked down for the count in the fourth but fought back to force a decider at an empty Louis Armstrong Stadium.
The gritty 27th seed again had to come from a break down in the fifth set but looked indefatigable as he secured a place in the fourth round with victory in the decisive tiebreak.
Coric, one of four players to test positive for COVID-19 after playing on the ill-fated Adria Tour earlier this year, will face Australian Jordan Thompson on Sunday for a spot in his first Grand Slam quarterfinal. – Reuters