Halep survives tough Rybakina challenge; Krejcikova rolls on

After missing Roland-Garros and Wimbledon through injury, the Romanian is into the last 16 at the US Open for the first time since 2016

Simona Halep US Open

Two-time Grand Slam champion Simona Halep came through a testing encounter at the US Open on Friday as she beat 19th seed Elena Rybakina 7-6 (11), 4-6, 6-3 to reach the fourth round for the first time since 2016.

The Romanian, seeded 12th after an injury-hit summer, recovered from 3-0 down in the opener and saved four set points before taking the first set on the tiebreak when Rybakina double-faulted.

“It’s been a tough match,” said Halep, who again had her right thigh strapped. “I knew it would be. I played before against her and it was three hours and a half. I knew I had to be strong, I knew I had to be calm, but I didn’t in the second set. I had those chances at 4-4 but I didn’t. But I’, enjoying to be in front of the crowds. I missed everyone.”

Rybakina again led in the second set but after both players took medical timeouts at 3-2 to the Ukrainian, Halep broke back – again thanks to a double fault – but Rybakina bounced back to win the second to force a decider.

It was Halep, though, who showed her champion’s quality as she won the third to set up a clash with Elina Svitolina, who beat Daria Kasatkina 6-4, 6-2.

Muguruza, Krjecikova rolls on, Kerber beats Stephens

Garbine Muguruza won the battle of the former Grand Slam champions, beating last year’s runner-up Victoria Azarenka 6-4, 3-6, 6-2, setting up a clash with Barbora Krejcikova.

The Czech won her first Grand Slam title at the French Open this summer but is still under the radar. Not for much longer, perhaps, after she beat Kamilla Rakhimova of Russia 6-4, 6-2 to reach the last 16 on her US Open debut.

And former champion Angelique Kerber, a semi-finalist at Wimbledon, continued her resurgence with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 win over another former winner, Sloane Stephens. Kerber will play Canadian Leylah Fernandez, who upset defending champion Naomi Osaka, in the fourth round.

FULL SUMMARY OF FRIDAY’S ACTION AT THE US OPEN

  • Seeds winning at the US Open (3rd round): Aryna Sabalenka (2), Elina Svitolina (5), Barbora Krejcikova (8), Simona Halep (12), Garbine Muguruza (9), Elise Mertens (15), Angelique Kerber (16),
  • Seeds beaten at the US Open (3rd round): Naomi Osaka (3), Victoria Azarenka (18), Elena Rybakina (19), Ons Jabeur (20), Daria Kasatkina (25), Danielle Collins (26)
  • To follow our full coverage of the 2021 US Open, please visit this page.
  • To follow live results, to see the men’s draw and women’s draw, we recommend you follow the official US Open website.
  • Today’s full schedule at the US Open is here.
  • All the practical information – how to watch the tournament, how to buy tickets and everything else you could possibly need to know – is hopefully in this page.
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