After being dominated in the first set, third seed Serena Williams elevated her game to overcome Sloane Stephens in the third round of the 2020 US Open, 2-6 6-2 6-2.
The 26th-seeded Stephens confidently opened the first set with a 3-1 lead and had two break points to go 4-1 up. Even though Williams prevented a double break deficit early on and had a chance to get things back on serve in the sixth game, Stephens kept the lead by saving both break points she faced, then extended the lead to 5-2 and confidently served it out.
After a crucial game slipped through Stephens’ hands in the middle of the second set, the 2017 US Open champion passively started watching the match being taken to a decider as Williams cleaned up her game. Stephens hit a number of impressive winners in her fight to keep the second set on serve, but Williams broke her for a 4-2 lead and cruised through the remaining games.
Williams’ momentum continued in the third set, as the six-time US Open champion won ten of the last 12 games in the match which initially seemed to be in her opponent’s hands.
In the fourth round Williams will face Maria Sakkari, the Greek player that defeated her last week at the Western & Southern Open.