Rabat Grand Prix: Sloane Stephens outplays old rival Vera Zvonareva; enters R16

Martina Trevisan and Mayar Sherif went safely through to the pre-quarter-finals

by Abbey Johnson
Rabat Grand Prix: Sloane Stephens outplays old rival Vera Zvonareva; enters R16

Sloane Stephens advanced to the second round of the Rabat Grand Prix on Tuesday. The second seed defeated Vera Zvonareva 6-4, 7-5 in an hour and 46 minutes. Stephens won 65% of her first-serve points to Zvonareva’s 54%.

The latter, however, fared better when it came to winning second-serve points, winning 52% to the latter’s 46%. Stephens saved three of the five break points she faced while converting six of 11 break points on Zvonareva’s serve.

Heading into the match, Zvonareva had held a 1-0 win-to-loss record against the American. But that win had come way back in 2010, in the second round in Indian Wells. Now, following this win, Stephens’ levelled the head-to-head against the veteran.

In the second round, Stephens will play either Timea Babos or Irina Khromacheva. The top seed this week in the Moroccan event, Martina Trevisan also clinched a spot in the second round. The Italian played Spain’s Nuria Parrizas Diaz and was leading the latter 6-2 before Parrizas Diaz retired from the match.

Rabat Grand Prix: The name's Sada Nahimana!

In the second round, the 2022 French Open semi-finalist will play Croatian qualifier Jana Fett. Fett came through against 22-year-old Sada Nahimana. Earlier, Nahimana had made accomplished quite a feat for herself and her country with her name featuring in the main draw itself.

Nahimani became the first Burundian woman to mark an appearance in the main draw of a WTA tournament. Currently ranked 255th in the world, Nahimana made it to one ITF event final this year, the $25k event in her native, Burundi, in April.

Lastly, third seed Mayar Sherif also reached the second round of the Rabat Grand Prix. The Egyptian defeated Ukrainian Kateryna Baindl, 6-1, 6-3 in their opening-round clash. Sherif will play Argentine Julia Riera. Riera beat Kristina Mladenovic 6-3, 6-0 in their first-round encounter.

Following this loss, Mladenovic’s now on a four-match losing streak on the WTA Tour. Her last win came at the Dubai Open, when she won the first round of qualifiers.

Sloane Stephens Vera Zvonareva Martina Trevisan