Monday, June 2, 2014
Romania’s Simona Halep, the highest seed left in the women’s singles, outwitted the American 15th seed, Sloane Stephens, to reach the quarter-finals at the French Open with a 6-4, 6-3 victory on Monday.
Stephens made too many unforced errors as Halep, the fourth seed, won through to meet either the 27th-seeded former champion, Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia, or the Czech 23rd seed, Lucie Safarova.
With Romania’s tennis legend Ilie Nastase watching from the stands, Halep worked the angles to unsettle Stephens, who struggled behind her serve throughout.
Halep, who made her only previous grand slam quarter-final appearance at this year’s Australian Open, prevailed on the first match point when Stephens, the last American in the singles, sent a forehand long.
Halep’s game was far from perfect but she seized her chances, converting all six break points she had.
“I think I managed very well the match,” said Halep, who won the juniors’ title at Roland Garros in 2008. “I opened the angles. I wanted to make her run a lot on court. I think I played aggressive. I dominated the match, I think. I didn’t serve very well but I tried to return better and I did.”
Stephens was often on the back foot and sometimes went for unlikely winners in attempts to regain the advantage during long rallies.
“It was a tough match obviously but she has played pretty consistent over the last, say, nine months,” said Stephens, who has reached the last 16 in her last six grand slam appearances.
“It’s always tough playing someone who is really consistent and has a lot of confidence and just plays a solid game.”
AP Photo/Michel Spingler
Source: The Guardian