Ashleigh Barty has snuffed out the spirited challenge of home hope Lauren Davis to advance to the US Open third round.
Barty needed more than two hours to put the world No.73 away 6-2 7-6 (7-2) in a tense match played under a closed roof on Louis Armstrong Stadium after a rain-marred third day in which most of the schedule was wiped out.
“When I saw it was raining today, I was pretty happy I was on this beautiful court with the roof,” Barty said.
“It’s been an incredible development of this tournament and I’m just looking forward to my next match.”
That will be against 30th-seeded Maria Sakkari or Peng Shuai, who must resume on Thursday after their second-round clash was suspended at 1-1 in the opening set.
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.
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.
The French Open champion fashioned three match points on Davis’s next service game but couldn’t convert.
“I knew I was doing the right things. It was about execution. It’s difficult conditions out here,” Barty said after stepping up in the tiebreaker.
“Very happy to come through and be able to play a really good tiebreak like that.”
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.