French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko battled her misfiring game and stubborn qualifier Francoise Abanda before securing a 4-6 7-6(4) 6-3 win to reach the Wimbledon third round on Wednesday.
For the second match running the 13th seed’s level fluctuated wildly but she finally made her extra firepower count to see off the Canadian as darkness descended on Court 12.
Fans could have been excused for wondering what all the fuss was about as Ostapenko, who blazed to the Roland Garros title last month, flailed forehands high and wide in a scrappy first set against her fellow 20-year-old.
The Latvian was three points from defeat in the second set tiebreak but world number 142 Abanda wavered with a nervy double-fault and Ostapenko seized her chance to level the match.
Yet more unforced errors handed Abanda a 2-0 lead in the deciding set but a fired-up Ostapenko won six of the last seven games to move through to a clash with unseeded Italian Camila Giorgi who knocked out big-hitting American Madison Keys.