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By Chris Oddo | Tuesday April 4, 2018

Daria Kasatkina battled through a tense three-setter to get her Volvo Car Open title defense on track on Tuesday, edging American Christina McHale, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2, to book her spot in the third round.

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McHale put up a strong fight and even opened up a 2-0 lead in the third set but a calm, poised Kasatkina reeled off the final six games to improve to 2-0 lifetime against the New Jersey native.

It wasn’t the only time that Kasatkina reeled off a six-game streak in the match. She also took a half dozen on the trot to claim the first set after falling behind 3-0 out of the gate.

McHale had her moments against the World No. 12 and reeled off a four-game streak of her own that helped her close out the second set and open up the break lead in set three.

Facing constant pressure on serve finally broke McHale down when she was broken on her fifth break point of the sixth game of the third set to hand Kasatkina the 4-2 lead. From there it was downhill skiing for the Russian, who improved her record to 14-8 on the season and 10-1 lifetime at Charleston.

In other action on Tuesday, top-seeded Caroline Garcia cruised past Varvara Lepchenko in straight sets, while No.9-seeded Ashleigh Barty took out American Sofia Kenin 6-3, 6-2.

17-year-old American qualifier Claire Liu got past Poland’s Magda Linette, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, while American Kristie Ahn upset former champion Sam Stosur, 6-2, 6-4.

Other winners on a busy Tuesday were wild card Sara Errani (d. Bouchard), No.16-seeded Elena Vesnina (d. Brengle), No13-seeded Irina-Camelia Begu (d. Garcia Perez), Taylor Townsend (d. Watson), Tatjana Maria (d. Davis), Lara Arruabarrena (d. Hadad Maia).


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