American third seed Jessica Pegula cruised through to the third round of the US Open with a 6-3 6-1 victory against Romania’s Patricia Maria Țig on Thursday.
The match got off to a nervy start as the pair traded breaks early on before Pegula, the top-ranked American player at the tournament this year, pulled clear with two further breaks of Țig’s serve.
The second set was more straightforward for the 29-year-old as she took a commanding 4-0 lead. After an hour and 11 minutes of play, she wrapped up the victory when Țig played a forehand low into the net.
“It was awkward [in the first set], we haven’t played each other. I’m sure we were both nervous,” Pegula said during her on-court interview after the match.
“Playing at night, the conditions are different, it’s kind of cool tonight. It’s totally different than when I played here the other day. You just have to adjust and get used to it.”
Pegula has reached the quarterfinals at five of her last seven grand slam tournaments but is yet to progress beyond that stage.
In her bid to do so at this year’s US Open, she will next face Elina Svitolina on Saturday. The Ukrainian has enjoyed a sharp rise up the world rankings since returning to tennis earlier this year after the birth of her child, even reaching the Wimbledon semifinals in July.
Pegula won in three sets when the pair met at the Citi Open in Washington, DC, four weeks ago and holds a 3-1 advantage in their head-to-head history.
“Elina is so tough. I feel like every single match we play is always just a really good battle,” Pegula said about her next opponent.
“I feel like we kind of play into each other’s game where we make each other play better and we always just have really great matches. It’s great to see her back playing at such a high level so quickly.”