Slick Stephens sets up Keys rematch in Paris

US Open champion Sloane Stephens has dropped just one set in Paris, where she will face Madison Keys at the semi-final stage.

Published : Jun 05, 2018 21:46 IST

Sloane Stephens' best run at the French Open will take her into the semifinals after a clinical straight-sets win over Daria Kasatkina.

The US Open champion rose to the occasion in her first quarterfinal at Roland Garros, beating the 21-year-old Russian 6-4, 6-1 in only an hour and 10 minutes on Tuesday.

Stephens overpowered the 14th seed in an assured performance on Court Philippe Chatrier and has dropped just the one set in Paris.

READ: Keys unlocks the door to French Open semis

The American will now face friend and compatriot Madison Keys in a rematch of their final at Flushing Meadows, where she claimed a first major title last September.

Kasatkina showed flashes of her all-round quality, but the promising youngster's best grand-slam run ended in the last eight. Aggressive 10th seed Stephens reached to her right to put away a superb volley as she broke to take a 3-1 lead.

A nimble Kasatkina had to return on Monday to finish off her fourth-round clash with Caroline Wozniacki, but showed no signs of fatigue, breaking back when Stephens ended a long rally with an over-hit forehand.

ALSO READ: Serena provides positive injury update following French Open withdrawal

She was broken straight back, though, after Stephens unleashed a rasping forehand and went a set up when her opponent steered a forehand into the net.

Kasatkina was undeterred, showing her class with a blistering cross-court forehand winner as she held in the first game of the second set.

Stephens screamed after forcing an error from the youngster with a fierce inside-out forehand and there was a fist pump after she broke for another 3-1 lead.

An exquisite backhand drop shot from Kasatkina brought roars of appreciation from the crowd, but Stephens broke again with a brutal cross-court forehand winner and came up with another to sail through.

ALSO READ: French Open Diary: Kasatkina outlasts Airbnb booking, school reading pays off for Schwartzman

Stephens [10] bt Kasatkina [14] 6-3 6-1

Stephens – 17/18
Kasatkina – 10/25

Stephens – 0/0
Kasatkina – 0/2

Stephens – 5/7
Kasatkina – 1/1

Stephens – 83
Kasatkina – 75

Stephens – 63/78
Kasatkina – 49/36

Stephens – 64
Kasatkina – 43

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