Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova battle hard to reach US Open third round

Former Wimbledon champions Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova kept their US Open hopes on track after gritty second-round wins.

Kerber, the 17th seed, is playing in her 50th grand slam at the venue where she made her breakthrough, reaching the semi-final in 2011.

The 2016 Flushing Meadows winner came through a tight all-German clash against Anna-Lena Friedsam 6-4 7-6 (6).

Kerber, 32, who won Wimbledon two years ago, said: “It’s always special to return to a place where you won. It’s a really special place for me, where it all started in 2011, and I’m still here competing. This is what I love.”

US Open Tennis
US Open Tennis

Kvitova, the two-time champion at SW19, has never made it further than the quarter-finals in New York.

The 30-year-old Czech, seeded six at this year’s championship, was slow to get moving but eventually beat Ukrainian Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (3) 6-2.

She said: “It was very difficult especially with my nerves, I felt very tight. But it’s a grand slam, at the beginning of the tournament it’s always like this.”