Pliskova grinds out a tough win; Svitolina, Ostapenko stroll through

Elina Svitolina defeated Evgeniya Rodina while Ostapenko took out Sorana Cirstea in the second round.

World No. 1 Karolina Pliskova battled back from a set down to defeat American qualifier Nicole Gibbs 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 and reach the US Open last 32 on Thursday.

Pliskova, the runner-up in 2016, goes on to face either Chinese 27th seed Zhang Shuai or Risa Ozaki of Japan for a place in the last 16.

SVITOLINA STROLLS INTO THIRD ROUND

Ukrainian fourth seed Elina Svitolina powered into the third round of the US Open with a 6-4, 6-4 win against Russian Evgeniya Rodina on Thursday.

The 22-year-old, who had also reached the third round at Flushing Meadows in the previous two years, was barely troubled by her 89th-ranked opponent in a sun-kissed Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Svitolina lost focus in the second set at 5-2 when she allowed Rodina to pull a break back, but she held her following service game to wrap up the victory on the first match point with a backhand winner.

She next faces either American Shelby Rogers.

LONGEST MATCH

A record was set when American Shelby Rogers and 25th-seeded Australian Daria Gavrilova played out the longest ever women’s singles match.

Their 3hr 33min clash saw Rogers win 7-6 (8/6), 4-6, 7-6 (7/5). Their second-round tie went past the previous longest of the 3 hours and 23 minutes it took Johanna Konta to beat Garbine Muguruza in the second round two years ago.

Russian eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2004 champion, saw her outside chances of taking the world number one ranking end when she lost to Japan’s Kurumi Nara 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Kuznetsova is the fifth of the top eight seeds to lose before the third round after Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, defending champion Angelique Kerber and Johanna Konta also exited.

SMOOTH SAILING FOR OSTAPENKO

Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, seeded 12th, defeated Romania's Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-4 to book a spot in the third round. The 20-year-old French Open winner has progressed past the second round of the competition for the first time and will be targeting her second Grand Slam title of the year.

STRYCOVA KNOCKED OUT BY BRADY

Czech Republic's 23rd-seed Barbora Strycova is knocked out after a 6-1, 6-1 defeat by American Jennifer Brady, who books a spot in the third round during her debut campaign at Flushing Meadows.

Strycova is the 15th seeded women's player to exit the competition in the first two rounds.