Ash Barty needed two chances to serve out a 6-1, 7-5 win over Danish teen Clara Tauson on Thursday as the top seed made it into the third round of the US Open.
The Australian was cruising as she led a set and 5-4, looking ready to claim the victory.
But Barty dropped serve as she tried to close it out, with the outsider pulling to 5-all. The experienced seed shifted into top gear, breaking back to finish off victory in less than 90 minutes.
Barty ended with 27 winners and forced her young opponent to save 14 of 18 break points in the afternoon victory.
The WTA No. 1 who watched the storm and floods which deluged the area on Wednesday night from her Manhattan hotel room, got lucky with scheduling.
But Barty added: “It took us a while to get in this morning (with player car transport) but we were expecting there would be a little bit more of an issue.
“It seemed like a lot of rain, but trying to grasp what was happening on-site was quite unbelievable.
“I know there has been a lot of flash flooding, hopefully a lot of people from here got home safely.
“It was quite a wild storm, it wreaked some havoc (with) damage to the site (which caused an hour or more of delay for early matches).”
Olympic champion Belinda Bencic was unchallenged as she dispatched 106th-ranked Italian Martina Trevisan 6-3, 6-1 in their second-round match.
“I’m very happy with today’s match,” the Swiss said. “It was very windy when I was warming up,” Bencic said,
‘I adapted by my game to it, it made things a little bit different with the tactics.
“But I’m very happy with how I served, how I played; I felt very good on the court. I’m just happy to be in the third round,” the 2019 semi-finalist said.
Both players had 16 winners, with Trevisan committing 17 unforced errors compared to eight for 11th seed Bencic.
Poland’s Iga Swiatek, who won the French Open last autumn in a COVID-delayed edition, advanced past Fiona Ferreo 3-6, 7-6(3), 6-0 in a re-run of an Australian Open victory from February..
Swiatek, a keen reader, said she was proud to have just finished reading “Gone with the Wind” in Polish over the last three weeks on the Tour.
“I finished it yesterday, and I cried. Maybe that’s the reason I was emotional in the match,” she joked..
Tenth seed Petra Kvitova, who has never passed the New York quarter-finals, booked into the third round over Kristyna Pliskova – twin sister of fourth seed Karolina – 7-6(4), 6-2.
“It was difficult playing a fellow Czech,” double Wimbledon champion Kvitova said. “I knew it would be a tough one.
“I’m glad that I was able to win the tiebreak, for sure – that was the key for the whole match.
“It was a bit windy,with shadows on the court. A lot of tough conditions today out there.”
2016 champion Angelique Kerber ripped through a match delayed by the previous day’s deluge to defeat Anhelina Kalinina 6-4, 6-4 as she broke the Ukrainian five times.
Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who was stuck in Canada for several weeks with visa problems for the US before finally being able to cross the border, made the most of her stay.
The 30-year-old Roland Garros finalist from June reached the third round for the first time in five years with a 6-2, 5-7, 6-2 defeat of German Anna Karolina Schmiedlova.