Stephens beats fellow major champion Muguruza to reach French Open quarterfinals

Wilson Blade 9

Last year’s runner-up Sloane Stephens saw off 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza 6-4 6-3 to move into the quarterfinals of the 2019 French Open.

The first player to take charge in the fourth-round match was the 19th-seeded Muguruza, but Stephens recovered from an early break deficit and confidently booked a spot among the final eight in Paris for the second successive year.

The ninth-seeded Stephens needed five match points to seal the deal. Spain’s Muguruza saved the fourth match point with a cross-court forehand, then earned a break point with a fierce winner. Stephens’ ace put the game back on deuce and soon afterwards the 2017 US Open champion progressed past the former world No.1 and two-time Grand Slam winner.

The resurgent Johanna Konta awaits Stephens in the quarterfinals. The world No.26 Brit has beaten Stephens in both their encounters so far — recently on the clay of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and early into the 2019 season at the Brisbane International.

When asked about the current unpredictability in women’s tennis, in the sense that every player can be defeated on a given day, the 28-year-old Konta replied: “I think that’s been the growing mood for quite some time now.”

Croatian Petra Martic and Czech Marketa Vondrousova are the other quarterfinal pair in the bottom half of the French Open draw. Top-half quarterfinalists will be determined tomorrow.


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