Thursday, April 8, 2021

Ending drought, Stephens advances to quarterfinals

   Sloane "Ranger" Stephens reached her first quarterfinal in almost two years today, defeating Ajla Tomljanovic of Australia 6-3, 6-4 in the Volvo Car Open on clay in Charleston, S.C.
   Stephens, a Fresno, Calif., product now based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., improved to 6-0 against Tomljanovic, the runner-up in the 2017 Sacramento (Calif.) Challenger.
   Stephens advanced to a quarterfinal for the first time since the French Open in June 2019. She won the 2017 U.S. Open and reached the Roland Garros final in 2018.
   Stephens, who has slumped from a career-high No. 3 in 2018 to No. 57, is scheduled to play 15th-seeded Veronika Kudermetova of Russia for the first time on Friday not before 4 p.m. PDT (Tennis Channel). Kudermetova, ranked No. 38, dismissed qualifier Kurumi Nara of Japan 6-0, 6-3.
   French Open — The French Tennis Federation postponed the tournament one week to May 30-June 13 to maximize safety and attendance amid the COVID pandemic.
   ATP Tour — Ariel Behar of Uruguay and Gonzalo Escobar of Ecuador beat Andre Goransson (University of California, Berkeley, 2014-17) of Sweden and Nicholas Monroe of Austin, Texas, 6-4, 7-5 in the quarterfinals of the Andalucia Open in Marbella, Spain.

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