San Diego Open: Caroline Garcia bests Sloane Stephens; Ons Jabeur ousted

Danielle Collins, Emma Navarro and Sofia Kenin are the three American women still left in the WTA 500

by Abbey Johnson
San Diego Open: Caroline Garcia bests Sloane Stephens; Ons Jabeur ousted
© Aaron Doster/ Getty Images

Caroline Garcia posted an emphatic win over Sloane Stephens in the second round of the San Diego Open on Wednesday. The French player, seeded second this week, opened her campaign in the Californian event with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 win after almost an hour and 45 minutes of play.

Garcia hit eight aces across the match and 78% of her first-serve points. She saved all but two of the seven break points she faced while converting four break points on Stephens’ serve. She had more twice as many winners as Stephens’ – 26 to the latter’s 12 and hit 27 unforced errors to her opponent’s 13.

In the deciding set, Garcia won 78% of her first-serve points and 67% points on return on the former US Open winner’s second serve. She also converted two of three break points that came her way on Stephens’ serve while saving the lone break point, she faced.

The 29-year-old who’s been inconsistent this year except for a handful of good results is now seeking to make her third semi-final this year. She last reached that far in tournaments almost eight months ago, in February.

Back at the Lyon Open and Monterrey Open, Garcia reached the semis before making it to the finals. She, however, lost both finals to Alycia Parks and Donna Vekic respectively. Danielle Collins will be Garcia’s next opponent.

The American came from a set and multiple breaks down in the latter two sets to get the better of Jelena Ostapenko. After an hour and 53 minutes, Collins prevailed 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

San Diego Open: Ons Jabeur's form continues to disappoint

The tournament, however, lost its top seed quite early.

Ons Jabeur, who was the highest seed here, crashed out in her opening-round match itself. Anastasia Potapova won 6-4, 7-6(4) over the Tunisian in an hour and 46 minutes. It was an erratic match between the two players which eventually saw the relatively-better composed player take the win.

Both Jabeur and Potapova combined to hit 16 double faults during the proceedings. Jabeur had her chances in the match but wasn’t able to see them through which ultimately cost her. For a chance to reach the semi-finals, Potapova will now play Sofia Kenin.

Kenin won the American derby against Katie Volynets, 1-6, 6-4, 6-2. Beatriz Haddad Maia battled against her opponent, Marta Kostyuk and her inconsistent play, to pocket a seat in the quarter-finals. The Brazilian seventh seed won 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-2 against the Ukrainian after three hours and five minutes.

But prior to this, she failed to serve out the match twice in the second set – in the 10th and 12th games to give Kostyuk a boost back into the match. In the deciding set, too, she handed back one of the two breaks she had while serving for the match a third time in the seventh game.

But she did get the win in the end after securing one final break on Kostyuk’s serve, in the eighth game. Fourth seed Barbora Krejcikova will be Haddad Maia’s next rival. The Czech won 6-3, 6-2 against Anhelina Kalinina.

The last quarter-final at the San Diego Open will be played between third seed Maria Sakkari and Emma Navarro. The Greek took her place in the quarters after her opponent, Camila Osorio decided to not continue with the match mid-way with Sakkari leading 6-3, 2-2. Navarro won against Aliaksandra Sasnovich, 7-5, 6-4.

Caroline Garcia Sloane Stephens Ons Jabeur