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Ash Barty evades potential banana skin in Lauren Davis to reach US Open third round


It wasn’t entirely straightforward for Ash Barty, but having been pushed hard by the American Lauren Davis under the roof of Louis Armstrong court on a rain-affected day at Flushing Meadows, the world No 2 secured her place in the third round of the US Open.

Barty wrapped up a 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) victory on her fourth match point in a tie-break that ultimately proved far more comfortable than the preceding game, in which Davis saved three of those four match points and forced a breaker.

Barty was tested throughout the second set and had to fight back from a break down before staving off a set point in that lengthy 12th game and sealing victory in just over two hours.

“I knew I was doing the right thing, it was just a bit about execution,” Barty said afterwards. “It was difficult conditions out there. But I’m very happy to come through and play a really good tie breaker.”

Barty will play either Peng Shuai or 30th-seeded Maria Sakarri next for a place in the last 16 for the second straight year.

Unlike her tournament opener against Zarina Diyas – or three of her matches in Cincinnati – where she dropped the first set, Barty jumped out of the blocks on Wednesday night.

Davis pushed then-world No 1 Simona Halep to the brink during the longest women’s match in Australian Open history last year but Barty barely gave her a sniff in the first set, breaking the American on her first service game and then pocketing the set when Davis double-faulted trying to stay in it.

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Davis threatened to force a deciding third set after establishing a 5-3 lead in the second but Barty broke back and then turned the screws to lead 6-5.

Victory improved Barty’s grand slam record to 16-2 in 2019 and edged the Queenslander to within one win of matching her career-best run in New York from last year.



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