Veterans Kvitova, Azarenka enjoy Open wins

·3-min read

Petra Kvitova has taken inspiration from Serena Williams to defeat Spain's Garbine Mugurza to reach the fourth round of the US Open at Flushing Meadows.

A tense clash between the two former grand slam champions saw Kvitova save two match points to force a deciding tiebreak, before eventually winning on Saturday 5-7 6-3 7-6 (12-10).

"I didn't want to go out of this tournament, so I was just there hanging somehow," the Czech, who was in tears at the end, said.

"She (Mugurza) was playing aggressively, as well. Me too ... So I was trying to go for it with these first serves or for aces."

Kvitova next meets American eighth seed Jessica Pegula after she defeated China's Yue Yuan 6-2 6-7 (6-8) 6-0.

"Petra is so hard to play. I feel like when she's on, she blows you off the court," Pegula said.

"And then sometimes she can be off .. She's a fighter. When it clicks, it's really difficult.

World No.1 Iga Swiatek was given her first test of the tournament by Lauren Davis but won the final five games to triumph 6-3 6-4.

"I couldn't find my rhythm today," Swiatek said in her on-court interview.

"I'm trying to enjoy every match even when it's not perfect. Just trying to go for it. Trying to find solutions in every situation."

Swiatek went on a blistering 37-match winning streak earlier this year to claim titles at Roland Garros, Doha, Indian Wells, Miami and Rome but has lost four matches during the hard-court season.

After three consecutive straight-sets wins in New York, the Pole next faces young German Jule Niemeier, who has backed up her run to the quarters of Wimbledon by making the last 16 on her main-draw debut here, beating China's Zheng Qinwen 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

Three-time finalist Victoria Azarenka eased to a 6-3 6-0 victory over Petra Martic.

Last year's US Open was all about the rise of the teenagers in Emma Raducanu and Leylah Fernandez, and Kvitova is pleased to see the 30-somethings holding their own this time.

"I'm very happy for me, for Vika (Azarenka), and this kind of age," Kvitova said.

"I feel like it's good because we are on the tour so many years, and I'm just happy that we could still manage it and face the young generation."

Azarenka will meet former finalist Karolina Pliskova, who claimed one of her best victories of a difficult season with defeat of Olympic champion Belinda Bencic 5-7 6-4 6-3.

Sixth seed Aryna Sabalenka, who had to fight back from 6-2 5-1 down against Kaia Kanepi in the previous round, had a much easier time of it against France's Clara Burel, racing to a 6-0 6-2 win.

The Belarusian will play 19th seed Danielle Collins, who eliminated French veteran Alize Cornet 6-4 7-6 (11-9).

With AP.