Iga Swiatek had to work for it but got the job in the end as she defeated former Sloane Stephens in their second-round match at the US Open on Thursday. The world no. 1 wrapped up the proceedings 6-3, 6-2 in 73 minutes against the American, who won the title here, in 2017.
The first four games of the match saw both players trade three breaks before Swiatek steadied the set by consolidating the second break of Stephens’ serve in the fifth game. Although the top seed raced ahead in the set and served it out in the ninth game, she was made to work for every point.
Errors dotted both players’ games while Swiatek was able to keep herself afloat on the backs of the winners that came far more regularly off her racquet as compared to Stephens’. The second set, in comparison to the first, went more noticeably in favour of Swiatek and just as quickly.
Stephens’ errors coupled with Swiatek’s better-controlled shot-making put her a double break down from which she never recovered. The American arrested the bleeding of her serve as she won two service games but she wasn’t able to do much damage to Swiatek’s serve in the set.
US Open: Sloane Stephens a step behind Iga Swiatek
Swiatek had 14 winners, twice as many as Stephens’ seven. The 21-year-old also finished with 17 unforced errors, one fewer than her opponent’s 18. For the match, Swiatek won 75% of her first-serve points to Stephens’ 47% and had a total of 57 points, 14 more than Stephens’ 43.
In the third round, Swiatek will play Stephens’ compatriot, Lauren Davis. Davis upset the 28th-seeded Ekaterina Alexandrova, 0-6, 6-4, 7-6(10-5) in their second-round match. Earlier, Petra Kvitova, the 21st seed received a walkover into the third round from Anhelina Kalinina ahead of their second-round match.
Lastly, eighth seed Jessica Pegula and 26th seed Victoria Azarenka also reached the round-of-32 at the US Open. Pegula got through against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 6-4, 6-4. Azarenka defeated Marta Kostyuk, 6-2, 6-3. Photo Credit: US Open Twitter