French Open: 2017 champion Sloane Stephens makes firm inroads into pre-quarters

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French Open: 2017 champion Sloane Stephens makes firm inroads into pre-quarters

Former French Open champion Sloane Stephens moved into the fourth round of this year’s edition on Friday. The American took out French hopeful, Diane Parry 6-2, 6-3 in an hour and 42 minutes. Stephens broke Parry twice to take a 4-2 lead but surrendered one break of serve right after.

However, Parry wasn’t able to consolidate the break back and conceded her serve yet again, giving Stephens a 5-2 lead in the set. This time, serving for the set, Stephens converted on her first set point to go up in the match.

As compared to the opening set, Stephens struggled towards the business end of the second set, losing her serve while serving for the match in the eighth game. However, towards the end, she converted the match on her fourth match point – on Parry’s serve in the ninth game of the set.

The former world no. 3 finished with 11 winners, three fewer than Parry’s 13. She had 27 unforced errors, six fewer than her opponent’s 33, and 15 forced errors to the latter’s 19.

French Open: Sloane Stephens sets Jil Teichmann encounter

In the fourth round, Stephens will take on Jil Teichmann.

The Swiss, seeded 23rd in the draw, ousted 15th seed Victoria Azarenka in their round-of-32 clash. The tough tussle between Teichmann and Azarenka lasted three hours and 18 minutes and saw Teichmann overcome a resilient Azarenka to win 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(10-5).

Earlier in the third set, Azarenka secured a break in the ninth game and served for the match in the following game. But she wasn’t even able to bring any match point up and lost her serve, bringing the set on level terms.

With both players holding serve in the latter two games of the set, the match moved onto the decisive tie-break where Teichmann built a lead for herself and went on to prevail in the match without allowing any comebacks from Azarenka.

This is the first time that Teichmann’s reached the second week of a Major. Meanwhile, Aliaksandra Sasnovich and Elise Mertens completed the fourth-round line-up in the bottom half at the French Open. Sasnovich upset 21st seed Angelique Kerber 6-4, 7-6(5) while the 31st-seeded Mertens ousted Varvara Gracheva 6-2, 6-3. Photo Credit: French Open Twitter