Lindsay Davenport needed to rely on her greater wealth of experience to steer past Russian teenager Alisa Kleybanova 7-5 6-3 in the second round of the US Open on Wednesday.
Davenport, champion in 1998, struggled to find her range in the opening match of the night session but capitalised on 27 unforced errors from Kleybanova to seal victory.
"I didn't play quite as well as I did the other day (in the first round). Didn't find my rhythm but sometimes you just have to get through these matches," said the 32-year-old, who missed the 2007 tournament as she was on maternity leave.
"I'm ecstatic to be in the third round."
She will next face Frenchwoman Marion Bartoli.
The American 23rd seed served for the opening set at 5-4 up but some dogged play from her 19-year-old opponent meant she had to toil on for another two games before bagging it.
Kleybanova, competing at the Open for the first time, tried to stay in the hunt in the second set but was eventually outclassed and bowed out by tipping a backhand wide.