NEW YORK (Reuters) - World number one Karolina Pliskova survived a scare to advance to the third round of the U.S Open with a 2-6 6-3 6-4 comeback win against local favourite Nicole Gibbs on Thursday.
The Czech, who reached the final at Flushing Meadows last year, was on the back foot against Gibbs before finding her range on serve.
Roared on by the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd, Gibbs was nothing like the player who lost 6-0 6-0 in their previous encounter in Sydney in 2015.
She bulldozed her way through the opening set as Pliskova struggled with her first serve.
The Czech faced a break point at 2-1 in the second set but Gibbs netted a backhand for what proved to be the turning point of the match.
“In the second set I started to serve better and get easy points with my first serve, which was much needed,” said Pliskova.
“I’m happy I managed to get through.”
She next faces Chinese 27th seed Zhang Shuai or Japan’s Risa Ozaki.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Richard Balmforth