Jessica Pegula advanced to the fourth round of the US Open with a hard fought 6-4 4-6 6-2 victory over Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina, continuing the impressive performances of American players at their home tournament.
The No. 3 seed will now face her compatriot Madison Keys for a place in the quarterfinals after Keys completed a 5-7 6-2 6-2 victory over Russia’s Liudmila Samsonova in her own third-round match.
Since Svitolina has returned to tennis after having a baby last year, she has achieved a string of impressive results, reaching the quarterfinals at the French Open and the semifinals at Wimbledon, and she provided a difficult test for Pegula on Saturday.
Pegula didn’t concede a break point in the first set, but Svitolina converted her first – and only – opportunity to break the American in the second set and level the match.
Pegula’s serve remained virtually impregnable during the third set, she served nine aces throughout the match and conceded just one break point, and once she had broken Svitolina again simply held out for the win.
“I knew no matter what, she wasn’t going to go away,” Pegula said afterwards, according to the WTA. “She’s been playing amazing. She really picked up her level and forced me to go after that third set.”
Remarkably, Pegula has also reached the fourth round in both the doubles and mixed doubles at Flushing Meadows.
Meanwhile, Keys rallied after losing the first set to wrap up her own victory and told reporters that that her match against Pegula will “be a really difficult match no matter who wins,” according to the WTA.
Peyton Stearns will also join her compatriots in the fourth round after she defeated Britain’s Katie Boulter to reach this stage of a grand slam for the first time in her career.
The 21-year-old, who was crowned NCAA singles champion last year, will now face Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova.
It was in 2002 that the USA last took victory in both the men’s and the women’s singles at this tournament when Pete Sampras and Serena Williams won their respective draws.
But with Pegula, Keys, Stearns and Coco Gauff all reaching the fourth round and with Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Tommy Paul and Ben Shelton all still in contention in the men’s draw, American tennis seems to be flourishing again.
Elsewhere, Tunisia’s Ons Jabuer overcame a set deficit to defeat Czech player Marie Bouzkova 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 6-3, while defending men’s champion Carlos Alcaraz also dropped a set but defeated Britain’s Dan Evans 6-2 6-3 4-6 6-3.