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US Open champ Sloane Stephens advances in Montreal

August 9, 2018

MONTREAL (AP) — U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens advanced to the Rogers Cup quarterfinals, beating Carla Suarez Navarro 6-2, 7-5 on Thursday in the hard-court event.

Stephens looked to be cruising with a 5-1 lead in the second set, but Suarez rallied to tie it at 5. Stephens broke serve for 6-5 and scored four straight points to put away the match, ending it with a sharp cross-court forehand.

“Maybe the old me would have kind of freaked out,” Stephens said. “I was kind of like, ‘OK, it’s fine, she’s allowed to play well. Just kind of regroup.’ I did that. I was happy with that.”

The 25-year-old Stephens, ranked No. 3 in the world, won a hard-court title in Miami in March and lost the French Open final to top-ranked Simona Halep. In the quarterfinals, the American will face Anastaija Sevastova of Latvia, a 6-3, 7-6 (2) winner over 10th-seeded Julian Goerges of Germany. Sevastova, ranked 19th, won last month in Bucharest.

Ashleigh Barty, the 15th seed from Australia, beat France’s Alize Cornet 7-6 (3), 6-4.

In rain-delayed, second-round matches, Halep topped Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6 (9), 4-6, 7-5; Johanna Konta of Britain topped Victoria Azarenka of Belarus 6-3, 6-1, and 13th-seeded Venus Williams beat Romania’s Sorana Cirstea 7-6 (4), 6-4. Later Thursday, Halep was set to play Williams, and Konta was scheduled to face defending champion Elina Svitolina.

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