Sloane Stephens and Sam Stosur advance to third round of Birmingham


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Sloane Stephens and Sam Stosur advance to third round of Birmingham

Tennis - Second seed Samantha Stosur and third seed Sloane Stephens are through to the third round of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham with wins on Wednesday.

Stosur defeated American Christina McHale 6-1, 6-3 for her third win in as many matches over McHale. In the next round, Stosur meets fellow Australian Casey Dellacqua, who beat another American player, Varvara Lepchenko, for a place in the quarter-finals.

This will be their first meeting in over a decade. Stosur commented, "I got off to a very good start, which helped my confidence. There were a couple of tricky moments in the second set but I got through those, and I'm happy to be able to get a straight set win." Stephens defeated Italian veteran Francesca Schiavone 6-2, 6-4 and will next meet American grass-court specialist Alison Riske.

It was not a good day for some of the other seeds with 5th seeded Lucie Safarova, 8th seed Magdalena Rybarikova,11th seeded Madison Keys and 12th seed Monica Puig all making exits. Puig went down to 43-year-old Japanese veteran Kimiko Date-Krumm in a thrilling third set tie-break.

[6] Klara Koukalova (CZE) d Virginie Razzano (FRA) | 5 - 7 | 7 - 6 (5) | 7 - 6
[4] Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) d Camila Giorgi (ITA) | 6 - 3 | 6 - 2
[L] Timea Babos (HUN) d [11] Madison Keys (USA) | 6 - 2 | 6 - 1
Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) d [5] Lucie Safarova (CZE) | 6 - 3 | 3 - 6 | 7 - 5
Petra Cetkovska (CZE) d [8] Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) | 6 - 4 | 7 - 5
[9] Shuai Zhang (CHN) d Shahar Peer (ISR) | 6 - 3 | 3 - 6 | 6 - 2
[15] Alison Riske (USA) d [Q] Nadiia Kichenok (UKR) | 7 - 6 (4) | 6 - 1
Kimiko Date-Krumm (JPN) d [12] Monica Puig (PUR) | 2 - 6 | 6 - 4 | 7 - 6 (7)