Sloane Stephens’ the only seed left in the Rabat Grand Prix. The American, the second seed this week, overcame a stiff challenger in compatriot Peyton Stearns in their quarter-final match on Thursday. Stephens eventually won 6-7(4), 6-3, 7-6(6) after two hours and 46 minutes.
In the first set, Stephens won just one of eight points played on her second serve. Both players traded breaks twice before Stearns captured the set and the lead in the tie-break. In the second set, Stephens bettered her serve statistics significantly.
She won 82% of her first-serve points and 50% of her second-serve points. She also saved both break points she faced while converting one break point on her younger opponent’s serve to level the match. In the decider, Stearns went up a break and led 4-2 before Stephens once again brought the set to parity.
In the tie-break, Stearns raced away with a lead once again and she secured three match points for herself. However, Stephens mounted one last comeback and squashed Stearns’ hopes as she made her way into the semi-finals.
This is the first time since the 2022 Abierto Zapopan Open in Guadalajara that the former Roland Garros finalist’s reached the semis of a WTA tournament. Looking to make the final for the first time since the same event in Mexico, Stephens will play Lucia Bronzetti.
Rabat Grand Prix: Seeds tumble out as event enters business end
The Italian ousted fourth seed Alycia Parks in a one-sided quarter-final. After an hour and 18 minutes of play, Bronzetti won 6-2, 6-0 against the American.
Earlier, defending titlist the tournament top seed, Martina Trevisan’s route ended on an injurious note. The Italian played her quarter-final against Austrian Julia Grabher. The latter led the Italian 6-3 before the latter decided to not go ahead with the rest of the match.
Seeking to reach her first WTA tour final at the Rabat Grand Prix, Julia Grabher will now play Julia Riera. The Argentine reached a career first semi-final after ousting sixth seed Yulia Putintseva 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 in their quarter-final match-up.