Sep 1, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Sloane Stephens of the USA (proper) and Cori Gauff of the USA embrace after Stephens defeated Gauff on day three of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis match at USTA Billie King Nationwide Tennis Heart. Necessary Credit score: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports activities
September 2, 2021
By Amy Tennery
NEW YORK (Reuters) -Expertise trumped youth as former champion Sloane Stephens’ lethal forehand sealed fellow American Coco Gauff’s destiny 6-4 6-2 within the second spherical of the U.S. Open on Wednesday.
The pair appeared evenly matched early on however the 17-year-old Gauff handed Stephens a essential break with a double fault on the final level within the ninth sport and by no means regained the momentum from her 28-year-old opponent.
Within the second set, Gauff did not convert the one break level alternative she had in opposition to the 2017 champion, who had eight forehand winners throughout the one hour and 6 minute assembly on Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“The forehand was key immediately,” Stephens stated “I wished to come back out right here and actually execute and play my sport.”
Stephens gained the final seven factors in a row, as she dominated from the baseline and had a two break benefit headed into the ultimate sport.
Stephens received 84% of her first serves in throughout the match. Gauff dedicated 4 double faults.
“Serving that prime share for me is at all times actually key simply because I can get into the factors and I can begin off aggressive with me dictating play, which is what I wish to do,” stated Stephens.
The off-court buddies hugged on the web after the match and Stephens heaped reward on the Twenty third-ranked Gauff, a fan favorite at Flushing Meadows who reached the quarter-finals at Roland-Garros earlier this yr, the very best main efficiency of her profession.
“I like Coco, I believe everybody is aware of I like Coco,” stated Stephens. “I’ve seen her sport actually transition and alter … I do know there’s going to be nice issues forward for her.”
Within the third spherical she faces both Anhelina Kalinina or 2016 champion Angelique Kerber, whose second-round match was postponed on Wednesday because of inclement climate.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; enhancing by Richard Pullin/Peter Rutherford)