Sloane Stephens lifts US spirits at French Open

JULIEN PRETOT
Last updated 03:25 30/05/2014
Sloane Stephens
Getty Images
STORMING THROUGH: Sloane Stephens rolled Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-1 6-3 to join Taylor Townsend as the remaining American women in the French Open draw.

Relevant offers

Tennis

Andy Murray snaps claycourt jinx with first title in Munich Caroline Wozniacki reaches third round of Madrid Open, Isner also advances Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal coming to terms with world rankings slide Wimbledon the richest slam with prize money increase New Zealand tennis player Artem Sitak falls in ATP doubles final in Bucharest Selfie-sticks banned from Wimbledon tennis grand slam tournament Kei Nishikori wins Barcelona Open Simona Halep beats Sara Errani in WTA tournament after receiving death threat Martina Navratilova ends coaching role with Agnieszka Radwanska Kei Nishikori remains on track to defend Barcelona Open title

In the absence of the Williams sisters, 15th seed Sloane Stephens raised American morale at the French Open by easing past Slovenian Polona Hercog 6-1 6-3 on Thursday to reach the third round.

Stephens followed her teenage compatriot Taylor Townsend, who on Wednesday became the youngest player to go past the second round at Roland Garros since 2009 on the day world No 1 Serena Williams and her elder sister Venus were knocked out.

The 21-year-old Stephens blazed through the opening set before running into a spot of bother midway through the second as Hercog upped her game but the American ended the contest on her second match point with a crosscourt forehand winner.

She will next face Russian 22nd seed Ekaterina Makarova or compatriot Coco Vandeweghe.

Sixth seed Jelena Jankovic proved strong on serve to hold off Japanese Kurumi Nara, who collapsed in the second set in a 7-5 6-0 defeat by the Serbian who is a three-times semi-finalist in Paris.

"It was not easy, she is returning a lot of balls and the court is heavy and the conditions generally are heavy," Jankovic said.

"There are still a lot of great players in the draw, every round is going to be tough. The opponents get more and more difficult."

Next up for the former world No 1 is Brazil's Teliana Pereira or Romanian 26th seed Sorana Cirstea.

Former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, the Russian 27th seed, laboured to a 7-6(5) 6-3 win over Italian Camila Giorgi to set up a meeting with either Czech fifth seed Petra Kvitova or New Zealand's Marina Erakovic.

Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands was leading 5-7 6-4 3-0 against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova when the Russian retired, and in Israel's Julia Glushko won 6-4 3-6 6-4 against No 21 Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.

Bertens next plays Spaniard Silvia Soler-Espinosa, who downed Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer 6-2 6-4.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content