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Two-time champion and top seed CoCo Vandeweghe booked her place in the quarter-finals with a 7-6 6-3 victory over local favourite Arantxa Rus in the Libema Open in Den Bosch.
It is the 26-year-old American's fourth quarter final in five years at the Dutch grass court event. but it was a real struggle for the world no 16 who was clearly suffering from an unspecified ailment that required treatment between sets.
After her victory, she was immediately consoled by her coach Pat Cash while she wept on his shoulder.
Asked about her condition by the court-side commentator, she played it down and joked "I'm a female so I cry a little bit."
The 2015 and 2016 US Open semi-finalist added: "It has been a tough day for me but I'm happy to get through.
"I played some decent tennis along the way against a really tough opponent."
Vandeweghe won the tournament in 2014 and 2016 and is the favourite to clock up a hat-trick of titles.
In an error-ridden opening set it was the American who prevailed in a tight tie-break after Rus double-faulted at 4-3.
Despite her ailment, Vandeweghe broke at the start of the second set, but her opponent immediately broke back.
The set went with serve until Vandeweghe broke to love to open up a 5-3 lead and then comfortably held to close out the match.
"I keep coming back for more," she replied, when asked about her impressive 14-2 record in the tournament. "I get a little taste of the trophy and I come back for seconds and, hopefully, thirds.
"It is one step at a time. These tournaments before Wimbledon are about getting the best preparation you possibly can for the big tournaments and working on things you want to implement in the grass court season.
"I'm just happy to be stringing a couple of matches along because it has taken me a while this year."
The WTA Libema Open from s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands will be shown live on BT Sport on the eir sport pack between 11-17 June.
Image: Getty Images/ Alex Grimm
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