Sloane Stephens and Angelique Kerber beaten, but Simona Halep survives
Sloane Stephens and Angelique Kerber were among the seeds to lose at the rain-affected Cincinnati Masters on Thursday.
US Open champion and third seed Stephens was stunned 7-6 (10-8), 6-2 by Elise Mertens, who is playing in the main draw of the Western & Southern Open for the first time in her career.
— WTA (@WTA) August 16, 2018
“It’s really awesome to be able to play like this against a player like Sloane, who has a Grand Slam already,” the 15th seeded Mertens said.
“I think I played a great match, not too many mistakes. She doesn’t give you free points, so you have to build them yourself. And I’m pretty happy about the way I played today.”
The Belgian will take on eighth-seeded Petra Kvitova next after the two-time Grand Slam winner secured a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 victory over Kristina Mladenovic from France.
Wimbledon champion Kerber joined Stephens and Garbine Muguruza, who exited on Wednesday, on the sidelines as she was beaten by 2017 US Open runner-up Madison Keys.
The American hit 55 winners as she came from a set down to win 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 and secure only her second victory in eight outings against Kerber.
“Considering the last – what was it, six times? – it didn’t go so hot, this victory feels good,” Keys said. “More than anything, it was just how I handled being down and not letting the previous results kind of spiral in my head for me. I think that’s what I’m happiest with.”
Sixth seed Caroline Garcia also crashed out as she was beaten by Aryna Sabalenka with the Belarusian winning 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.
Top seed Simona Halep moved into the third round, but she didn’t have it all her own way against Ajla Tomljanovic.
In a match that started on Wednesday evening and had to be pushed to Thursday due to the weather, the Australian qualifier took the opening set, but Halep eventually found her rhythm and won 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Next up is another Australian in Ashleigh Barty.
Race to Turin: Stefanos Tsitsipas becomes fourth man to qualify
Stefanos Tsitsipas joins Rafael Nadal, Carlos Alcaraz and Casper Ruud in the Turin field.
Novak Djokovic downs ‘good friend’ Vasek Pospisil to reach Tel Aviv semi-finals
Djokovic came through a competitive contest 7-6 (5) 6-3 in Israel.
What Nick Kyrgios needs to do to compete on the ATP Tour
Greg Rusedski believes Nick Kyrgios would be better off focusing on things that he can control, like his own fitness.
Huge weekend ahead for padel as Andy Murray’s former coach gives us his verdict
The relentless rise of padel continues and…
Will Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner share a generational rivalry?
Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner just keep having banger after banger after banger.
Novak Djokovic cruises to victory on return to ATP Tour
Novak Djokovic blew past Spain’s Pablo Andujar 6-0, 6-3 on Thursday evening.
Juan Martin del Potro details heartbreaking injury struggles
Juan Martin del Potro continues to struggle with mobility issues post-retirement.
Iga Swiatek irritated by WTA Tour finals scheduling clash
An ‘irritated’ Iga Swiatek has bone to pick with the ITF and the WTA.
John McEnroe and Mats Wilander back Iga Swiatek to claim 10 Grand Slams
Is Iga Swiatek destined to be the next woman to win ten Grand Slams?
Race to Turin: Casper Ruud becomes third man to qualify
Casper Ruud joins Rafael Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz in the Turin field.