Wimbledon finalist Ons Jabeur moved to within one win of breaking out of her US Open third-round box with a 7-5, 6-2 defeat on Wednesday of young tennis royalty.
Defeated opponent Elizabeth Mandlik, a US wild card, is the 21-year-old daughter of Czech-born 1985 New York champion Hana Mandlikova.
Jabeur has now reached the third round here for a third straight edition and is keen to make further progress at this edition.
She gets her chance in the next round against another American, Shelby Rogers, who beat qualifier Viktoria Kuzmova of Slovakia 7-5, 6-1.
“It’s going to be a tough match, Shelby plays really well on hard courts,” fifth seed Jabeur said.
“But the main goal for me is to impose my game, I know I can bother her with the changing of the rhythm.
“It will be tough playing her at the US Open as an American. But I’ve definitely learned from the other third rounds that I’ve played here.”
The North African found 23 winners in her victory over Mandlik but was weighed down by 23 unforced errors.
Victory – her 40th in 2022 – was the 10th this season for Jabeur against an American as she tries to improve at the only Slam where she has not played the second week.
Third seed Maria Sakkari went down in a 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 shock to China’s Wan Xiyu as the Greek joined countryman Stefanos Tsitsipas, a first-round loser.
Sakkari played the semi-finals here a year ago, but was unable to get by her Asian opponent after two and three-quarter hours.
Sakkari struck 22 unforced errors while the 21-year-old Wang sent over a dozen aces and broke the Sakkari serve six times from 11 chances.
Zhang Shuai put a second Chinese player into the third round as she defeated Slovak Anna Schmiedlova 7-5, 6-1.
American 12th seed Coco Gauff double-faulted in the tiebreaker but quickly recovered her her way to a defeat of Elena Ruse of Romania 6-2, 7-6(4)
The American teenager trailed 5-3 in the second set but fought her way back to level-pegging and finally advanced with the winning tiebreaker.
“When I was down I kept telling myself to hit the ball over the net, aim a little higher,” Gauff said.
“I was missing a lot today, I knew playing her would not be an easy task.”
Gauff beat Ruse in their only other meeting in the Wimbledon first round.
She now plays fellow American Madison Keys after the 2017 finalist defeated Italy’s Camila Giorgi 6-4, 5-7, 7-6(6).
Canada’s Rebecca Marino continued her recent surge in form, putting out Daria Snigur of Ukraine 6-3, 7-6(5).
Brit Harriet Dart went down to Hungary’s Dalma Galfi, winning just four games.