Strycova earns Halep clash, Cibulkova edges Pironkova in New Haven epic

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Barbora Strycova earned a second-round clash with top seed Simona Halep at the Connecticut Open on Sunday, with a two-set win over Camila Giorgi.

One week out from the US Open starting, Strycova posted a 6-2 7-5 win over Italy's Giorgi - the Czech setting up a clash with new world number two Halep, who lost the Western and Southern Open final to Serena Williams earlier in the day.

Giorgi heads to Flushing Meadows - where she made the last 16 in 2013 - having won consecutive matches just once since her title win in Den Bosch in June.

There were three-set wins for Irina-Camelia Begu and Dominika Cibulkova in their first-round outings at the WTA Premier hard-court event in New Haven.

Begu probably should have advanced past Zarina Diyas in two, blowing a break lead twice in the second set before ousting the Kazakh 7-5 5-7 6-2 in two hours, 42 minutes.

Cibulkova edged Tsvetana Pironkova in a three-hour, 11-minute struggle 7-6 (8-6) 6-7 (5-7) 6-3.

There were 41 break points faced between the pair, with Cibulkova saving 14-of-21 and Pironkova 12-of-20 in a tumultuous match.

Both blew break leads in the first set - Cibulkova twice had a definitive advantage - before Pironkova saw a 5-1 tie-break lead turn into concession of the opener.

Pironkova was on track to force a decider with a 4-0 second-set lead, but Cibulkova saved two set points on her way to forcing a tie-break - only for the Bulgarian to come from 3-1 down this time to snare it.

A one-time Wimbledon semi-finalist, Pironkova was bound for victory when she broke for a 3-2 lead, but Cibulkova effected back-to-back breaks before serving out a tough result.