After her stunning win over No.2 seed Simona Halep of Romania, Russian wild card entrant Maria Sharapova won another three-set match to advance to the third round, while Caroline Wozniacki and German fourth seed Alexander Zverev exited the US Open on Wednesday.
Sharapova, who is playing in her first Grand Slam tournament since serving a 15-month doping suspension, defeated Hungary’s Timea Babos 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-1, reports Xinhua news agency.
The five-time major champion was underperforming in the opening set and made 19 unforced errors including four double faults. An upset looked to be on the cards when Babos took the first set.
But the 30-year-old Russian turned around the situation in the following set with a controlled performance. After breaking serve to go up 4-3, she never looked back before taking the set easily 6-4.
Sharapova, now ranked 146th in the world, kept the pressure on her opponent when she started the third set with a break game on her way to victory.
“Today I knew I wanted to get it done and I did. I felt like it was a scrappy match but sometime those days are the best because you get through and give yourself another chance,” said Sharapova.
“In the second set I was physically fresh. That gave me a lot of confidence.”
Fifth seed Wozniacki of Denmark became the fourth top-10 woman to exit from the US Open after just two rounds when she lost 2-6, 7-6 (5), 1-6 against Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova in the second round.
She joins second seed Simona Halep, sixth-seeded defending champion Angelique Kerber of Germany and Britain’s Johanna Konta, the seventh seed, in crashing out of the tournament.
In other first round matches, No. 8 seed Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia defeated Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (2), No. 10 seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland beat Petra Martic of Croatia 6-4, 7-6(3), and No. 20 seed Coco Vandeweghe from the United States beat fellow American Alison Riske 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.
In the men’s part, Zverev, whose five ATP titles this year include a win over Roger Federer in this month’s Montreal final, fell to 61st-ranked Croatian Borna Coric 3-6, 7-5, 7-6(1), 7-6 (4).
“He had a most unbelievable year where he won basically everything,” Coric said. “It does mean a lot to me to win this match.”
Cilic, the 2014 US Open winner, reached the third round by beating Germany’s Florian Mayer 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.