Simona Halep in US Open third round after win over Kristina Kucova

Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep made the most of a change in schedule to win her second-round match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Romania's Simona Halep celebrates her win over Slovakia's Kristina Kucova during their 2021 US Open Tennis tournament women's singles second round match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York.   -  AFP

Simona Halep advanced into the third round of the U.S. Open for the first time since 2016.

The No. 12 seed waltzed to a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Kristina Kucova at Arthur Ashe Stadium, where their match was moved after Naomi Osaka's opponent withdrew from their scheduled match.

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Halep has won two Grand Slam titles but struggled at the U.S. Open. She lost in the first round in consecutive appearances in 2017 and 2018 and hadn't gone past the second round since reaching the quarterfinals in 2016.

She completed her victory under the closed roof while play was suspended again on the outer courts after rain returned.

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"I was a little bit lucky to play here with the roof," said the 12th seed, who will face Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan in the third round.

Nineteenth seed Rybakina beat Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia 6-1 6-4.

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