Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Stephens to stay 'normal' with friend Keys ahead of Roland Garros clash

American Tennis Player Sloane Stephens Sloane Stephens has a very high peak level on clay
Rita Gibson | 08 June, 2018, 22:39

When the French Open final was played a year ago, Sloane Stephens was nowhere near Roland Garros.

Keys had the first break chance in the second set and a lightning quick service return gave her the edge as she moved 4-3 up.

Marco Cecchinato became the first Italian man to reach a Grand Slam semi-final in 40 years after defeating former champion Novak Djokovic 6-3 7-6 (4) 1-6 7-6 (11) at the French Open on Tuesday.

After beating No. 31 Mihaela Buzarnescu of Romania 6-1, 6-4, she next faces either No. 26 Barbora Strycova of the Czech Republic or Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan.

Friends Madison Keys and Sloane Stephens will face off in the French Open women's semifinals on Thursday, June 7. "But I'm still trying to find the right person".

Stephens, 23, and Keys, 25, will quickly approach that sort of status if they maintain the form they've shown lately. If she can turn the match into a track meet - Halep's specialty - she might be able to wear down her opponent.

Novak Djokovic lost the opening set of his quarter-final against Italian Marco Cecchinato 6-3, with the 12-times major victor appearing to struggle with a neck problem midway through the contest.

Ayton works out for Suns, says 'I know I'm going No. 1'
If Ayton wasn't already their number one choice on the board, it sure sounds like he's solidified his place following the workout. Ryan McDonough was asked about Ayton clearly wanting to join the Suns. " has a lot of strong ties to this area".

"I think the biggest thing is just staying so level-headed after being down a break in the first", Keys said.

After a timid start, Stephens found her rhythm and took control of the opening set by breaking in the third game with a forehand victor down the line.

After del Potro served out his victory at love to get to his first semifinal at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament since 2009, he sat in his changeover seat, chest heaving.

"I'm definitely liking the clay a little bit more now that I have made a semi-final here", said Keys after the match. However, she was unable to trouble Stephens when she was serving, and the tenth seed proceeded to comfortably take the first set 6-4. She was hardly more troubled in defeating Poland's Magdalena Frech, dropping just four games in a 6-2 6-2 win.

In the other half of the draw, two-time champion Maria Sharapova will meet 2016 victor Garbine Muguruza on Wednesday, while world No. 1 Simona Halep takes on double Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber. She will next play 10th-seeded Sloane Stephens. Top-ranked Simona Halep is up against 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza in the other semifinal, with the No. 1 spot at stake: whoever advances to the final will top the WTA rankings next week.

Makarova played alongside countrywoman Anna Kalinskaya and Vesnina teamed up with Jelena Ostapenko at Roland Garros. I was close to quit this sport.

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