Defending champ Petra Kvitova and Sloane Stephens stay in the hunt in Madrid

Petra Kvitova in action

Petra Kvitova’s defence of her Madrid Open title is still alive after she eased past Caroline Garcia in the third round while Sloane Stephens had to come from a set down to advance.

Two-time Madrid champion Kvitova was relatively untroubled by the Frenchwoman as she secured a solid 6-3, 6-3 win in one hour and 16 minutes at Caja Magica.

One break of serve in the first set and two in the second put the second-seeded Czech on her way to a quarter-final clash against Kiki Bertens, who was a 6-1, 6-2 winner over Anastasija Sevastova.

“I think I really played a good one today, much better than my last match against [Kristina Mladenovic],” Kvitova said after the match.

“I was really prepared for the opponent that I knew pretty well. Caroline, I’ve played her in Miami. She’s always tough – if I’m not playing well, then it’s really tough.”

Eighth seed Stephens had a tougher job on her hands as she battled to a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win over Saisai Zheng in over two hours.

After the opening two sets were shared, it was Stephens who dominated in the decider as she raced into a 5-1 lead with two breaks of serve before serving it out.

The American will take on Petra Matic for a place in the semi-final after the Croatian advanced when her compatriot Donna Vekic retired with a right hip injury.

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