Stephens ruthless in Kontaveit win

Sloane Stephens

Sloane Stephens’ impressive return to form continued at Roland Garros on Sunday, as she thumped Anna Kontaveit in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals.

Stephens went through a horror run in the aftermath of her sensational US Open victory last year, losing a slew of first-round matches in tournament after tournament, but her form steadily improved in 2018, culminating with her impressive win at the Miami Open in March.

Stephens has carried that form into Paris this week, enjoying solid progress through the first four rounds. Against Kontaveit on Sunday, the American needed just 54 minutes to wrap up a dominant 6-2, 6-0 victory.

The initial signs were positive for Kontaveit, who held her first two service games for a 2-1 lead.

But those would be the last games the Estonian won. Stephens took total control of the match from there, winning the last 10 games in a row thanks to five successive breaks in a ruthless performance.

“Coming on to play on back-to-back days in a Grand Slam, I was really pleased to get out there and play some good tennis,” Stephens said.

The victory earns her a place in the quarter-finals, where she will take on the winner of Sunday evening’s match between second seed Caroline Wozniacki and 14th seed Daria Kasatkina.

Also advancing to the quarter-finals on Sunday were American Madison Keys and Kazakhstan’s Yulia Putintseva.

Keys had far too much firepower for Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu, wrapping up a 6-1, 6-4 victory in just over an hour to advance to her first ever quarter-final in Paris.

Putintseva also broke new ground with her 6-4, 6-3 victory over Barbora Strycova, earning her a first appearance in any Grand Slam quarter-final. Her previous best showing was a third-round appearance at the Australian Open two years ago.

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