Iga Swiatek struggles with her rhythm, but ‘finds solutions’ to see off ‘pretty smart’ Lauren Davis

Iga Swiatek in action

Iga Swiatek admits she was far from her best, but she still managed to secure a two-set win over Lauren Davis to reach the fourth round of the US Open.

The world No 1 was in cruise control early on at Louis Armstrong Stadium, but Davis reacted well in the second set only for Swiatek to up her level and run out with a 6-3, 6-4 win to reach the last 16 at Flushing Meadows for the second time.

The two-time Grand Slam winner broke in game two and was generally all over the American’s serve during the opening set, but she had her work cut out for her in the second set.

In a role-reversal, Davis broke in game two and had another break point opportunity to go 4-0 up, but Swiatek held firm. The top seed then pushed back as she broke to love in game seven and a second break two games later set up the win.

“It wasn’t as smooth as in first and second round, I could not find my rhythm today,” the Pole said. “She played pretty smart. I’m pretty happy at the end that I could put balls in.

“I’m just trying to enjoy any match, even when I’m not perfect. Trying to find solutions in every situation.”

Iga Swiatek backed in US Open tournament balls row

She added: “For sure she played totally differently than most of the players, which threw me a little bit off the rhythm. But I’m happy I was fighting till the end.”

Having already won the French Open, four WTA 1000 titles and one WTA 500 event, Swiatek is looking to become the first player since Serena Williams in 2014 to win seven titles in a season.

Williams, who spent 319 weeks at the top of the WTA Rankings during her 27-year career, bowed out of tennis on Friday after losing her third-round match against Ajla Tomjlanovic.

Swiatek said of the 23-time Grand Slam winner: “Being in this situation, I know how tough it is sometimes to find balance and to actually stay focused on the proper things,” she said. “I think she did very well. I have huge appreciation because it’s one of my goals actually to be consistent throughout my whole career, staying Top 10 for a long, long time.

“She was No 1 for a long, long time, so it’s pretty crazy. For sure, I understand it little bit more right now, how much work she has put into it.”

The reigning French Open champion will face Jule Niemeier next after the German defeated Zheng Qinwen from China 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

The winner of that encounter will face either eight seed Jessica Pegula or two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the quarter-final.