CHARLESTON, SC, USA — No.3 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus evaded an upset in the second round of the Volvo Car Open on Wednesday, coming back from a set down to overcome Ukrainian qualifier Kateryna Kozlova, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
World No.10 Sabalenka had won their lone previous meeting in three sets, in the Tashkent quarterfinals in 2017, and this match also went the distance before the top-ranked Belarusian prevailed over the World No.99 in just under two hours of play.
In her debut match at Charleston, Sabalenka had 25 winners, but also 37 unforced errors, while Kozlova had 22 of each. However, nearly half of Sabalenka’s unforced errors came in the first set, and the Belarusian was able to pull through in the final two sets with relatively more precise power play.
Sabalenka will play unseeded Monica Puig of Puerto Rico in the round of 16. 2016 Olympic champion Puig pulled off a second-round upset by beating No.13 seed Sofia Kenin of the United States, 6-4, 6-4.