Sixth seed Petra Kvitova has quietly made her way through the draw and she took another step towards a first US Open title with a hard-fought 6-4, 6-3 victory over Jessica Pegula to kick off the night session at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
Czech sees off dangerous opponent to move into second week
Kvitova rolled through her early service games, winning the first ten points until Pegula flipped a 30-0 deficit into a break point, which she missed out on after an unforced error. A second chance was wasted with another error and the sixth seed eventually held for a 3-2 lead.
Pegula faced a break point after Kvitova blasted a forehand winner and she drew an error from the American to take a 5-3 lead. A double-fault on break point put the American back on serve, but after a series of forehand errors, she threw in her own double-fault to give the Czech a one-set lead.
Some good, deep hitting from Pegula brought up a break point in the opening game of the second set and a backhand fizzed over the baseline gave the American an early advantage. She fought through a tough service game to hold, but two games later, Kvitova was back level.
After Pegula lashed a forehand winner to bring up two break points, heavy hitting on the part of the sixth seed got her out of trouble to take a 3-2 lead. A 14-point eighth game turned out to be the key as Kvitova converted on her fourth break chance after the American sailed a forehand over the baseline.
Serving for the match, the Czech arrived at 40-15 after another errant forehand from the American and when Pegula committed one final mistake on that side, Kvitova had reached the Round of 16 at Flushing Meadows for the sixth time in her brilliant career.