Kerber let out a cry of mingled triumph and relief when Larsson sent a ground stroke long. (AP Photo/Kevin Hagen)
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Reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber kept her bid for a second U.S. Open title on track Thursday, outlasting Sweden's Johanna Larsson 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 . Germany's Kerber was knocked out in the first round last year in her defense of a 2016 U.S. Open title that pushed her to No. 1 in the world.Thanks to her comprehensive victory over U.S. great Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final, she returned to the Big Apple back in the top five in the world, aiming to join Serena and her sister Venus as the only women in the last 20 years to win both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in the same season.Kerber was cruising with a 5-2 lead in the second set when Larsson, seeking a first win over a top-five player, found her range. Venus' seven Grand Slam titles include a victory over Serena in the 2001 U.S. Open final.
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